An Idaho State University professor, in the middle of his chemistry class, blasted himself in the foot after the professor’s concealed-carry weapon accidentally discharged in a classroom full of adult students. The armed teacher, allowed to carry the weapon under campus regs that went into effect a few months ago, was toting the semiautomatic handgun in his pocket when he mistakenly pulled the trigger.
Writes Reuters news service: “No other injuries were reported and no charges have been filed in Tuesday's shooting in Pocatello, in a building that is part of the university’s physical science department. The instructor, who was treated and released from a local hospital, possessed a so-called enhanced concealed-carry permit that allowed him to carry a hidden gun on campus under a state law that went into effect on July 1.”
University President Arthur Vailas released a brief statement, stating: “Idaho State University is in compliance with the Idaho gun law. Yesterday’s incident was an unfortunate accident.”
Idaho’s Republican-led legislature passed the law allowing guns on university grounds earlier this year over the objection of the presidents of the state’s leading universities, including Idaho State, which was routinely ranked as one of the safest campuses in the United States.
In response to the new law, the university for the first time dispatched public safety officers armed with semiautomatic pistols to patrol the university’s southeastern Idaho campus this summer to safeguard students and staff.
Approximately 20 students were in class at the time of the incident.
Police confirmed that the unnamed teacher had a valid Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons permit, along with a basic concealed weapons permits for both Idaho and the state of Utah.
According to ktvb.com, the teacher “is part of a growing group. At the end of June, about three thousand Idahoans had Enhanced Concealed Weapons permits. That number has grown to 5,587 according to statewide records kept by the Idaho State Police.”
“The university officials and Pocatello Police Department responded as soon as they received notification of the incident,” said Adrienne King, Director of Marketing and Communications at Idaho State University. “They assessed the situation and determined that it was an isolated incident and that there was no imminent danger and no need to notify the campus community of any further concern.”
King added that the Idaho university is one of the safest, thanks in large part to such gun laws.
“Campus safety is the number one concern to this university,” King said. “Idaho State University has been nationally ranked as one of the safest campuses in the country and we intend to keep it that way.”
The incident once again raises the question – Should teachers be armed? What are your thoughts? Sound off below.