Idaho Colleges Ask Lawmakers To Consider Fiscal Side Of Guns On Campus
State colleges and universities across Idaho are appealing to state lawmakers' fiscally conservative side in an attempt to sideline a proposal to allow guns on campuses.
A House committee is scheduled to consider the bill Friday morning. But schools say it could cost hundreds of thousands – even millions – of dollars a year.
Idaho's higher ed institutions say allowing firearms on campus could require additional safety measures: armed security officers, stepped-up annual training, ballistic vests, and metal detectors for areas where guns would still be prohibited, like stadiums.
Boise State University calculates about an extra $2 million a year. Idaho State University estimates at least $1 million. North Idaho College put the additional cost at roughly a $250,000 per year.
“With the passage of this bill, you're putting millions of burden back to the institutions and primarily back to students and taxpayers.” said Mark Browning, a spokesman for the Coeur d'Alene-based school.
Idaho's Board of Education voted unanimously to oppose the measure. Effectively, the bill would remove campus anti-gun policies and allow people to bring concealed weapons to class.
Backers in the Idaho legislature say the change would improve safety by making it easier to thwart a shooter on campus.