On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 to pass Senate Bill 1254 regarding firearms and weapons on state college and university campuses. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for consideration. College of Western Idaho (CWI) along with all other Idaho college and university leaders gave testimony to express concerns with the bill and shared a mutual opposition of the bill. The following is an excerpt from CWI President Bert Glandon’s testimony:
Senate Bill 1254 – College of Western Idaho Opposition
Testimony by President Bert Glandon, Feb. 12, 2014
On behalf of the College of Western Idaho Board of Trustees and administration, I am honored to present before you today. We at CWI are opposed to senate bill 1254 relating to firearms regulations based on the following points:
- The bill is not clear in its definition of a campus. CWI in particular occupies more than a dozen locations across our service area with most residing within privately leased buildings.
- The bill does not consider the diversity on college campuses. CWI has high school dual credit students attending classes on our campus, we have early childhood education programs that work with toddlers and very young children, and we host several visiting high schools to tour our campus and take assessments.
- The bill does not address how this regulation will be enforced. CWI does not have lockdown capabilities, armed security, and other resources that would be necessary to enforce the regulations.
- The bill will have cost implications to the colleges – CWI has already identified the potential for signage, armed security and additional measures that would need to be taken to address new security and safety inferences.
- The bill is unclear as to what is being addressed in that it refers sometimes to “firearms” and at other times to “firearms and weapons.” Weapons, if they are included, are not defined.
- The bill impedes on the local control of our Board of Trustees who are also locally elected to regulate policy for the college that ensures a conducive learning environment.
- And lastly, we feel that the bill is not well written. CWI would request that more discussions occur with the institutions impacted by the decision of the legislature. Our college campuses do not fit within the traditional campus structure by way of locations, diversity of students, and capabilities of enforcement. We do not believe that this bill will keep our campuses safe and secure.