U of I taskforce forum answered questions concerning new Guns on Campus law

MOSCOW, ID - The Guns on Campus law is in effect as of Tuesday, and many University of Idaho staff and faculty members are concerned about what will change in the upcoming school year.

Rachel Dubrovin tells us what concerns were brought up in a forum on campus Tuesday morning.

"So what is the university doing to help prepare us teachers and instructors" said an instructor.

Tuesday morning University of Idaho faculty and staff discussed the Guns on Campus Law with members of the task force that was assembled to address the new legislation.

"How we deal with sightings, or how we deal with threats, has not changed significantly from yesterday to today," said U of I General Counsel Kent Nelson.

Teachers expressed concern about students knowing whether they're allowed to bring a gun on campus under the new law. U of I General Counsel Kent Nelson explained only retired law enforcement officers and people with an enhanced concealed carry permit will be allowed to carry a gun on campus.

"So it's kind of like buying a Boeing jet, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it," said Nelson. "If you have to ask whether you can carry, that probably means you don't have the permit."

Executive Director of Public Safety and Security Matt Dorschel pointed out Idaho isn't the first state to pass a law like this. He said Colorado and Utah passed similar legislation.

"They have not seen a negative impact on safety," said Dorschel. "They have not seen an increase in weapons-related or firearms-related incidents."

Dorschel also explained only law enforcement officers are able to determine if someone has the proper permit to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Faculty members asked if they could get in trouble for harassment if they call the police when they find out someone is carrying a gun.

"If you believe the circumstances create an immediate threat, then dial 911," said Nelson.

Nelson and Dorschel both explained that if someone feels threatened on campus, they should report the incident regardless of whether or not a gun is present. But they also explained that university's gun policy is a work in progress, and the task force will continue to change it to improve campus safety.

"We are and have been committed to the safety of our staff, faculty, and students and we're really proud of our safety record," said Dorschel. " And we're going to continue to do that, everything that we can, to keep this a safe place to live, work and learn."