Campus Police Will No Longer Store Guns For WSU Students After New Legal Interpretation
Firearms are not allowed on the Washington State University campus in Pullman — whether carried by a person, stored in a dorm room, or even locked in a car. Until now, those wanting to legally and safely store their guns could do so with campus police.
But now students will no longer have that option, due to a new interpretation of state law applying to university police forces like WSU’s.
WSU Police assistant chief Steve Hansen says the department now interprets state law to mean transferring firearms back to a student — say, to go hunting for a day — would require a background check and mental health evaluation. He says they’ve been trying to get out the word ahead of the fall semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 19.
“There were notices sent out by housing,” Hansen said. “Direct communications to those living in student housing, to say, hey look, we’re no longer doing this service for you.”
Hansen says the policy is also likely to change for other state school police forces, like Central Washington University in Ellensburg. That’s because the new interpretation comes from the state Attorney General’s office working with the Washington State Patrol.
According to Hansen, WSU police usually store about 40 to 50 firearms – mostly rifles for hunting or shotguns for trap shooting. He said the policy of storing firearms for WSU students has been in place for at least as long as he’s been at WSU — 36 years.
Just across the border, University of Idaho students can still store firearms through a program administered by the Moscow Police Department. Moscow police Captain Tyson Berrett said the department typically stores about 30 firearms for UI students at any given time.
But that service is only available to UI students. Eight miles away and across the state line in Pullman, WSU’s Hansen says they are encouraging students to make other arrangements — like with a local gun club. City of Pullman police say they’re unable to store firearms for WSU students.
Tens of thousands of Americans die every year from gun suicide, and some of hardest-hit areas spend the least on prevention. In the Idaho Panhandle, some small-town residents are stepping in where the government has failed. Continue Reading In Rural North Idaho, With Help Far Away, Communities Take It Upon Themselves To Tackle Suicide
Governors and mayors in some parts of the country are requiring them to close like many other businesses. Other officials are letting gun sales continue. Gun rights groups are on the defensive. Continue Reading Are Gun Stores ‘Essential’ During Coronavirus Outbreak? Different States Have Different Answers
A gun ban at a popular music festival in North Idaho is splitting the community, leading to a lawsuit between Bonner County and its largest town, Sandpoint.
Continue Reading In Gun-Friendly Idaho, Dispute Over Sandpoint Festival Pits 2nd Amendment Against Property Rights