Otter staff met Monday with students urging veto of ‘Guns on Campus’ bill

Student leaders expected to meet with Gov. Butch Otter Monday morning to urge him to veto Senate Bill 1254, which would allow students 21 and older who complete enhanced training to carry firearms on Idaho’s eight publicly funded college campuses. The bill is opposed by all eight college president and the State Board of Education.

Instead, they met with Otter’s staff. Among the students on hand were Boise State University student President Bryan Vlok, BSU student Vice President Cassie Sullivan, College of Western Idaho student Vice President Megan Greco and Ashley Morehouse, a lobbyist for University of Idaho students. They also carried statements opposing the bill from Lewis Clark State College Sam Carlson and NIC student President Benaiah Cheevers.

The student leaders have gathered about 4,000 signatures and letters of opposition to the bill, which passed the House 50-19 on Thursday. Earlier, the Senate approved the bill 25-10. Only a veto from Otter will keep the measure from becoming law on July 1.

A news release from student leaders follows:

 Student Leaders Meet with Governor, Announce Campaign Numbers

BOISE – Student leaders from Idaho colleges and universities will meet with Governor Otter this morning to express their opposition to the Guns on Campus bill.

The campaign they conducted in opposition to the Guns on Campus bill garnered national press and resulted in 752 hand-signed letters from students, 2,976 petition signatures, 126 letters from faculty and an additional 1059 letters delivered by fax this weekend. Students also hosted a rally in opposition to the bill with 250-300 attendees.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Idaho Chapter, also delivered 110 signatures to Governor Otter in opposition.

Student leaders also estimate thousands of Idahoans have called the Governor’s office opposing the bill.



Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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