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Taking A Stance On Guns On Campus

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By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A proposed bill allowing firearms on campus will come before the legislature this Monday.

If it passes, Idaho will join 6 other states that allow concealed carry on college campuses.

But the College of Southern Idaho President Jeff Fox says not so fast.

“I don't believe they have a place in an education setting. Some situations have a chilling effect. I believe a college campus is not the place for firearms. I was a teacher for over a quarter of a century; I feel that strongly in the classroom especially,” he explains.

“I would not want the teacher in the hall with the knowledge that one of my students, who may or may not be my biggest fan, has a gun under his coat. There’s a place for everything and a college campus is not the place,” adds Thad Scholes, CSI Board of Trustees chairman.

This is not the first time that CSI has taken this stance. Back in 2011, a similar proposal failed in the state.

“In 2011 I think there was some resounding response against this, and as Chairman Scholes pointed out, police officers, organizations across the state joined higher education officials in saying not a good idea,” Fox points out.

Other reasons for opposing the bill include economic reasons. Estimates suggest if the bill is passed, costs for safety officials at the college will increase by 16 thousand dollars.

“Our security officers do not carry firearms. They are not trained to carry firearms. If we allow guns on campus, we are going to change that. That's a very expensive proposition; we have to hire folks with certification trained," Scholes explains.

President Fox will join other college and university presidents in opposition to the bill on Monday.

Taking a stance... for a safer campus.

A campus survey of faculty, administration, and students suggests that the school is unanimously against the proposed legislation.

We'll follow this story to the Statehouse to bring you the very latest on Monday.


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