BPD chief on guns on campus bill: 'It's a sad day at the capital'

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - "In terms of democracy, it's a sad day at the Idaho State Capitol," said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson.

Masterson made the comment after he and law enforcement officers from around Idaho waited in vain to testify before a senate committee about a bill that would allow concealed weapons to be carried on a state college or university campus with some restrictions.

But the public hearing was closed after two and a half hours, and before any Idaho law enforcement officers could publicly testify.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to move it forward.

The 7-2 decision comes as proponents argue that the bill is necessary to uphold second amendment rights and allow students and staff to protect themselves.

Under Sen. Curt McKenzie's bill, retired law enforcement and those with Idaho's enhanced concealed carry permit can bring a firearm anywhere on campus except dormitories and facilities seating more than 1,000 people, such as stadiums.

A BSU psychology professor was among those who testified in favor of the bill, describing her terror when a former student threatened to kill her last month.

Opponents said the bill will be costly to implement and leaves colleges unable to guarantee the safety of those on campus.

The bill is headed to the full Senate for debate.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)