BOISE - The six House members from Kootenai County voted unanimously in favor of the guns on campus bill.
Generally, however, legislators from North Idaho were split Thursday on the vote on Senate Bill 1254, which gained final legislative approval on a 5049 tally in the Idaho House.
Outside Kootenai County, four of the seven House members from legislative districts 1-7 present for the vote cast red lights against the measure.
Reps George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, joined four Republican colleagues statewide in voting against SB1254. Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, also voted against the measure.
Rep. Ron Mendive, a Coeur d'Alene Republican and co-sponsor of the measure, said he voted in favor of the legislation to create a deterrent to those who might think twice about committing violent acts on college campuses if they knew some people there had firearms.
"On college campuses, if there are a few guns around, some person's gonna basically make a splash, go out, try to commit suicide, and take a few people with him," Mendive said. "He'll probably pick a school that didn't have people with guns, or the threat of guns, even if there aren't any guns."
"It's enough to think, well, you know 'I could run into somebody that could stop me,'" Mendive added. "You know what I mean? It's just a deterrent."
Eskridge stressed that he favors the Second Amendment for gun rights, but said that restrictions in some places - such as college campuses - are needed.
"I don't think it's a Second Amendment issue," Eskridge said. "I think it's a policy issue. And when the university presidents, and university students, and people in my district say they're not comfortable with having concealed weapons on campus, because you don't know who's got them, what kind of situation's going to arise, then I've got to support that."
In addition to Mendive, the list of six Kootenai County lawmakers voting in favor of SB1254 included Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens; Ed Morse, R-Hayden; Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls; Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene; and Kathleen Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene.