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Idaho House Passes Bill Allowing Guns on College Campuses

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The House voted Thursday to back a bill that would allow students, faculty and visitors to carry guns on Idaho’s college campuses. The 50-19 decision came after proponents argued the bill would uphold Second Amendment rights and give people on campuses to a way to protect themselves.

The legislation aims to let retired law enforcement officers and people with Idaho’s enhanced concealed-carry permit to bring guns anywhere except dormitories, stadiums and concert halls. Rep. Judy Boyle says giving people the right to be armed and ready even in classrooms will let them act to halt or prevent violence while police are still too far away to intervene. Boyle countered concerns that requirements for an enhanced permit — which requires applicants be 21 or older, take an eight-hour class and fire at least 98 rounds — aren’t enough to prepare a civilian to act in a stressful, high-stakes situation.

Rep. Ken Andrus voted to send the bill forward in the hope it will give students and faculty a way to fend off criminals. Lawmakers who voted against it skewered the measure, saying it’s being pushed through despite opposition from the heads of all eight public colleges and universities in the state. Several university and college presidents testified at a public hearing that such a law would disrupt the learning environment they strive for and could put people at risk.

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