Tags: Idaho | Texas | gun | loosen | laws

Idaho, Texas Legislatures Move to Loosen Gun Laws

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 03:59 PM

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Republican lawmakers in Texas and Idaho advanced bills to loosen gun restrictions to allow guns on college campuses to protect against another Virginia Tech-style massacre. Conservative lawmakers are advocating similar laws across the country, including in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Florida.

In Biose, the Idaho House passed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the right of colleges and universities to regulate firearms on campus, except in student housing, the Times-News in Twin Falls reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, a Texas House committee moved a bill Wednesday that would allow license handguns to be carried on public universities and college campuses, including public junior colleges and public technical schools, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Proponents of the legislation say the laws will make campuses safer and could help prevent another college shooting spree as seen in recent years.

“Gun-free zones don’t work,” state Rep. Erik Simpson, an Idaho Falls Republican, told the Times-News. “Every couple years in this country, this is tragically proven.”

Simpson, who is sponsoring the legislation, said that the law would make it easy for firearms owners to quickly intervene when attacks on campus break out, saying much can happen in the minutes leading up to police arriving.

"This is about personal security, not campus security," said W. Scott Lewis, a 31-year-old handgun licensee and student at Austin Community College. "This is about changing the odds."

Lewis told lawmakers he "just wants the means to defend” himself if a gunman opened fire on his classroom.

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