July 1 marked the first day permit-holding individuals could legally carry concealed firearms on Boise State’s campus.
Senate Bill 1254, commonly known as the Guns-on-Campus bill, removed some restrictions on carrying weapons onto college campuses. The bill allows individuals with specified permissions to conceal carry firearms.
Students have started to show interest in taking classes to obtain an enhanced license to carry concealed weapons.
Tommy Montgomery, junior mechanical engineering major, received his concealed carry permit after getting out of the army. He is looking to take an enhanced carry class to get the more versatile permit.
“[Boise State’s] policies really don’t have any measures to stop kids from bringing guns on campus,” Montgomery said. “It’s better to have people who are armed and know what they’re doing able to stop them.”
Montgomery has been shooting since he was five years old and believes that training to carry could save lives.
“It’s a last line of defense,” Montgomery said. “If we look back at the Virgina Tech shooting, [the shooter] locked the exits and no one could get out. If one person in there had a concealed weapons permit and was carrying, they could have stopped him and saved a lot of lives.”
To receive an Idaho enhanced license to carry concealed weapons, one starts by attending a class.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said attorney Rudy Patrick, quoting Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association. “It seems simplistic but generally, it’s true,” Patrick said.
Patrick is a legal instructor for Brave Heart Tactical’s enhanced concealed carry class. He helps educate students about the legalities of carrying a weapon and the legalities of when to use a weapon.
Legal education makes up one portion of Brave Heart Tactical’s training. Mike Wallace, firearm instructor for the course, heads the second portion: instructing individuals on how to properly use their firearms.
“There have been a number of incidents where people have used a handgun and had no formal training and they have caused more harm to bystanders than actually defending themselves,” Wallace said.
As required by the state, Wallace’s students fire over 100 rounds at various distances from targets. Students receive verbal instruction on when to fire, firing with both hands and one-handed, firing from standing and crouched positions and shooting to stop versus shooting to kill.
Wallace teaches both law enforcement officials and civilians.
“Personally I think you should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm on school campus,” Wallace said. “If you have received the training, and you’re astute with what you’re doing and you’re careful, there is really not a difference with carrying a sidearm concealed in a shopping mall compared to a university or college.”
Correction: SB-1254 allow students with specified permissions to concealed carry firearms on campus, not other weapons. The carrying of other weapons besides firearms is still prohibited by the university. This correction was made on 8/29/2014.