[Vision2020] UI Student Loses Gun Rights Case

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Fri Dec 9 04:28:16 PST 2011

Courtesy of today's (December 9, 2011) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

UI student loses gun rights case
By Brandon Macz Daily News staff writer
The University of Idaho did not violate a law student's Second Amendment rights by not allowing him to keep firearms in his on-campus apartment, Latah County 2nd District Judge John R. Stegner has decided.
Aaron Tribble, a second-year law student, filed a lawsuit against the UI in January. He said his inability to keep firearms at the South Hill Vista apartments exceeded the powers of the university. He said it violated his right to bear arms and 14th Amendment right to due process.
In a judgment filed Wednesday, Stegner states Tribble waived his right to keep firearms at his apartment by agreeing to the license agreement for occupancy, and the Board of Regents legally exercised its right to regulate the university's affairs and maintain a safe educational environment.
Stegner said the UI policy does not place "a substantial burden on Tribble's exercise of his core constitutional right."
"The University of Idaho is pleased with Judge Stegner's ruling in this case; it affirms our position that the university does have the legal authority to regulate firearms on campus, including in university-owned student residences," the UI states in a response released Thursday. "Our firearms policy has been part of the faculty/staff and student handbooks since the mid-1970s. Members of law enforcement and supervised use in a shooting range are the only exceptions to the policy, which disallows loaded weapons, including conceal-carry, on campus."
Tribble did not return a phone call requesting a response Thursday.
Idaho Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls, introduced a bill last legislative session that would have prohibited state colleges and universities from banning firearms on their campuses. It failed in the Senate.
He said Thursday he didn't feel Tribble's case has any bearing on the legislation he may reintroduce when the Legislature convenes in January. He said he was unsure whether passage of his bill would have nullified the UI's policy regarding on-campus housing.
"Mr. Tribble's case, in my mind, was not, in effect, an amendment issue," said Simpson. "Judge Stegner saw this as a contract issue and ruled accordingly. I don't see this as a blow to concealed weapons on campus. To me, it is an entirely different issue."
Earlier this year the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned a ban on carrying guns on university campuses based on state law stating only the Legislature could regulate firearms. Simpson said he is researching that decision to see if a similar case can be made for Idaho.
"In reality, it's not me saying it, it's our state constitution," said Simpson. "To me, it's very clear, and you will not find anything in statute that allows universities to ban firearms. This is still an open-ended case, and I'm sure it will be explored again in the future."
Simpson said he plans to discuss reintroduction and possible modifications of his bill with cosponsors before making a final decision.

Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"If not us, who?
If not now, when?"

- Unknown
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