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President Kustra Comments on Gun Measure

By: Sherry Squires   Published 3:09 pm / February 3, 2014

Photo of Boise State President Bob Kustra Boise State University President Bob Kustra participated in a press conference at the Statehouse this afternoon regarding a proposed gun measure. The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously this morning to oppose the measure.

President Kustra had this to say about Senate Bill 1254 that would allow retired law enforcement officers and people with Idaho’s enhanced concealed carry permit to bring firearms on campus.

“The Presidents of Idaho’s public universities and colleges work closely with our security personnel and local law enforcement agencies to assure our students, faculty and guests of a safe learning environment. After the shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, we reported to the Idaho State Board on our security plans to keep our campuses safe and we believe that we have taken the necessary precautions to guarantee our students’ safety to the very best of our ability.

We take this responsibility as our most important duty to our students, our faculty and our guests on our campuses. And we feel strongly that our campus security officers and our local law enforcement officers are in the best position to manage campus security, not a state law that does not benefit from the actual law enforcement experience of our local police force.

Notwithstanding the intentions of this legislation to arm some of our students, we can find no recorded incident in which a victim — or a spectator — of a violent crime on a campus has prevented a crime by brandishing a weapon.

In fact, professional law enforcement officials claim that increasing the number of guns on a campus would increase police problems and make it difficult for police officers in a shooting situation to tell the good shooter from the bad shooter and inadvertently shoot an innocent person.

As a former state legislator, I understand a role for state law where there is a crisis or problem that needs addressing. But here we are living in an era when all the focus is reducing the role of government in the lives of individuals and where there is no problem or crisis to be addressed on our state’s campuses that would be solved by this legislation. Our board gathered this morning and unanimously voted to oppose this measure. We urge the legislature to recognize the authority and oversight of the Idaho State Board of Education and the many precautions Idaho’s public universities take to protect our students. We will remain forever vigilant.”