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Concealed Carry Now Allowed on Idaho Campuses, But Some Professors Wary

An Idaho law that took effect July 1 allows students and faculty with “enhanced” concealed carry permits to legally carry their firearms on campus at public universities.

While gun-rights advocates embrace the measure, signed into law by Republican Gov. Butch Otter in March, many professors oppose it, believing it might create an unsafe learning environment.

University of Idaho professor Jack Sullivan told the Spokesman-Review he believes guns on campus will create an environment that is not conducive to learning. But he admitted, “I still don’t know what’s permitted with the law that’s been passed.”

Letting students conceal their weapons could impede open discussion and communication, professor Stephan Flores told the Spokesman-Review. Sullivan and Flores did not respond to requests for comment.

The standard concealed carry permit, which only requires a background check and classroom safety course, does not afford privileges to carry on campus. Beyond carrying on campus, the enhanced permit also lets owners carry a concealed weapon in Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Though Trish Hartzell, chair of the University of Idaho faculty senate, echoed the same concerns, she told The College Fix in an email she knew of no instances from other schools of students pulling out guns because of a heated classroom discussion. That potential still exists, though, she said.

Hartzell said more than 80 percent of faculty opposed the bill, although the faculty senate did not take a poll.

At Idaho State University, faculty were more divided on the issue. Clayn Lambert, co-chair of the faculty senate, told The College Fix by email the vote was too close for the senate to adopt an official position before the bill became law. Fifty-four percent opposed the expansion of concealed carry, while 44 percent of faculty supported the bill.

Sherlyn Rose, vice president of the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Boise State University, disagrees with the claims that more guns will lead to a worse, if not unsafe, educational experience.

In an email to The College Fix, Rose said that if professors are concerned for students’ safety, then better training and knowledge of firearm use is the solution. Students who wanted to use a gun could already illegally bring a gun in to the classroom, Rose said.

Rose said she was speaking for herself, not the group.

The Boise State Young Americans for Liberty chapter is fighting with the school over a “security fee” it charged the group to host an event with a no-gun policy.

Letting faculty arm themselves increases their safety, Boise State professor Kimberly McAdams testified before the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee on Feb. 12 as it was considering the bill later signed by the governor, Boise Weekly reported.

The psychology professor told legislators she had been the victim of threats by a student and felt unsafe on her own campus.

“I respectfully disagree with the presidents of Idaho universities who oppose this bill. They are not the ones directly in the line of fire. Please give me a fighting chance of saving my life and the lives of my students,” she told the hearing, according to the Weekly.

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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IMAGE: Jeremy Yoder/Flickr

Add to the Discussion

  • We Need More Whites

    This is great. It’s not as if guns aren’t already on the campus and in the classrooms…many people who are fully comfortable with their own ability to use guns to defend themselves and others choose to ignore the “no guns” signs put up by The Afraid Faction on stores, restaurants, and other public buildings. I laugh inside whenever I see one, especially ones that say “This is a gun-free zone” when there is no metal detector and security guard controlling access. More accurate to put up a sign saying “This is a fool-ourselves fantasy zone for the foolish and easily victimized.” It’s wonderful that America seems to have rejected much of the hysteria and rampant cowardice of the gun-afraid crowd after Newtown. Violent crime has been dropping steadily in America since in the 1990s in very large part because concealed carry laws swept across the nation in that decade and the early 00s.

    • sherry

      Well said! I’m totally stealing this quote by the way… “This is a fool-ourselves fantasy zone for the gullible and easily victimized.”

      • We Need More Whites

        Many thanks. Steal away, more where that came from… 😉

  • Don

    “she told The College Fix in an email she knew of no instances
    from other schools of students pulling out guns because of a heated
    classroom discussion. That potential still exists, though, she said.”

    This is nothing more than bigotry. To say “the potential still exists” just shows her fear of people she knows nothing about. There is a potential of a tornado picking up a bus and dropping it on her head. But strangely enough she doesn’t demand the removal of buses from campus.

  • Will

    These prof understand it is CONCEALED carry right? They will never know if a student or faculty member is carrying.

  • gerry d welder

    NCPA: Australia: More violent crime despite gun ban

    –Begin Quote:

    Moreover, Australia and the United States — where no gun-ban exists — both experienced similar decreases in murder rates:

    * Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.

    * During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.

    * Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.

    * Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

    * At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.

    * Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

    –End quote

    Gun Control – Watch What Happens When Guns Are Banned.


    “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
    – John Adams

    “Though defensive violence will always be ‘a sad necessity’ in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.”
    – St. Augustine