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University needs to make security changes

While still controversial, guns will be allowed on campus now that Gov. Butch Otter has signed the “Guns on Campus” bill into law. Now, Idaho State University is scrambling to figure out how it will comply with the law.

The first concern the university brought into light was their nuclear research and how it may not continue, as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission doesn’t allow guns in research facilities. But the university is working with the NRC to find out what additional security measures will be needed.

“We’re in the process of looking at what this legislation means to Idaho State University,” said Adrienne Kind, director or marketing and communications at ISU. “Historically, we have been one of the safest college campuses in the country. And we intend to keep it that way.”

King said there are already safety measures in place, like doors that will only allow access if your Bengal ID card has access.

A second concern has been the issue of Public Safety, the campus security office. Officers in that department are not allowed to carry weapons, something the university will also be addressing.

The new bill states that anyone who has an enhanced concealed weapons permit will be able to carry firearms on campus, but there are exceptions to where they can go.

“The legislation requires additional security measures in any venues that will hold over 1,000 participants,” King said.

That brings us to the third concern the university is still addressing: some of the banned spaces, like concert halls and dorms, are in the same buildings as classrooms, where the guns are allowed.

For example, the Rendezvous Complex has classrooms on one side and dorms on the other side. Also, the Stephen’s Performing Arts Center is known for its performance spaces, but also has classrooms that are used every day.

That means the university needs to figure out how it’s going to keep the weapons only in the spaces they’re allowed to be, and King said the university is partnering up with local law enforcement and other agencies to see how all campus security will be affected.

“We’re looking at a variety of security additions and we’re in the preliminary stages of looking at the costs associated with implementing those,” said King.

King added that as soon as those costs are finalized they will be able to finalize what security plans they will be implementing. That’s when they will release the information to the general public.

It’s also important to note that the law is not yet in effect. Guns are still banned until July 1, when the law takes effect.

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