A Boise State University source reached out to Western Journalism to note that, contrary to Idaho Reporter’s initial claim, the school did provide examples of previous events for which organizers were charged additional security fees. Spokesperson Kathleen Tuck, the source confirmed, responded to the request with details regarding when the university feels such fees are warranted along with the following incidents:
The U.S. Bank stockholders meeting in the Morrison Center and the Federal Reserve Bank regional meeting in the Stueckle Sky Center are recent examples. The Sandra Day O’connor event in the Student Union in September also required extra security details. Other examples are an Art Department Video Project, Multicultural Student Services’ Diversity’s Tunnel of Oppression and a visit from Admiral Michael Mullen.
As the force behind a Supreme Court victory for Washington, D.C. gun owners, Dick Heller has been a popular pro-Second Amendment voice in recent years. One of his recent invitations to speak on the issues was extended by a conservative group at Boise State University.
When the school got word of the planned address, however, administrators exposed their true feelings regarding gun rights advocacy. According to BSU sources, Heller’s mere presence on campus was considered a threat.
Furthermore, members of the school’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter were handed a nearly $500 invoice just hours before the event that they were required to pay before the speaker would be allowed. The fee would allow the university to pay for three security guards and two police officers to stand guard over the ostensibly dangerous crowd.
“We do charge campus groups for security when it is deemed a necessary component of an event,” spokesperson Kathleen Tuck explained to the Idaho Reporter. “In this case, there was concern that a community member had been encouraging folks to open carry.”
For members of the organization, however, the last-minute bill was unwarranted.
“Boise State overstepped its bounds by charging extra security fees last minute for an event where the goal wasn’t to have an open-carry gun rally,” Sherlyn Rose wrote in response, “but rather provide an educational forum for our students and community regarding a very important, historical Second Amendment Supreme Court ruling.”
She went on to describe as “ironic” the fact that “those who are most interested in and educated about our Second Amendment and gun safety would need protection!”
Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Center for Defense of Liberty Director Geoff Talmon seemed to agree. He criticized BSU’s decision, contending that “the university is essentially charging the group a premium for engaging in speech that the university deems controversial and that might engender in the attendees a reaction with which the university disagrees.”
Nevertheless, school officials show no signs of refunding the charge. School representatives were also unwilling to confirm whether other groups had in fact ever been charged similar security fees prior to a planned event.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dick Heller (Official Second Amendment Group)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom