Boise State rescinds fines for gun-rights events

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University will rescind the security fines it placed on a student group for bringing a gun-rights advocate earlier this year to speak at the campus.

However, the university will not change its event policies as requested by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, Boise State attorney Kevin Satterlee said.

The university charged Young Americans for Liberty $465 to cover the cost of extra security at the May event after seeing a community member encourage attendees to bring weapons on campus, Satterlee said. Not providing extra security would be considered negligence, he said.

“In short, the university’s additional security had nothing to do with the speaker or the content of his speech,” Satterlee wrote in a letter to the Freedom Foundation. “On the contrary, the additional security, and the costs associated with the additional security are directly tied to the risk the identified attendee posed in openly and brazenly declaring he would carry a firearm in violation of policy, and declaring that others should join him.”

ACLU interim director Leo Morales and Freedom Foundation spokesman Mitch Coffman declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press. Both said they had not yet received copies of Boise State’s letter.

The ACLU and Freedom Foundation have described the university’s event policies as unconstitutional and threatened to sue unless they were amended.

“We host literally hundreds, if not thousands, of free speech events of all types and viewpoints each year,” Satterlee wrote. “Your hyperbole regarding the university’s attitude toward free speech is completely unwarranted.”

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