Police in Pocatello, Idaho, are investigating how a university professor accidentally shot himself in the foot during class.
The injury was non-life threatening and no one else was harmed. But critics of guns-on-campus laws are pointing to the incident is a cautionary tale.
The accidental shooting occurred during a Tuesday afternoon chemistry class at Idaho State University. The professor reportedly had the small caliber, semi-automatic handgun in his pocket when it went off. One student told police there were about 20 students in the lab at the time.
The professor did have an Enhanced Concealed Weapons Permit. That allows people to bring guns onto public college and university campuses under a new state law that took effect this summer.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus and other gun control advocates swiftly noted the incident on social media. A headline on The Daily Beast read, “The Concealed Carry on Campus Movement Shoots Itself in the Foot.”
Idaho is among seven states with laws that allow firearms on higher ed campuses. The measure received strong opposition during the 2014 legislative session from Idaho’s police chiefs and the presidents of public colleges and universities, including Idaho State’s.
In a written statement, the president of the school said it is “in compliance with the Idaho gun law” and called the shooting an unfortunate accident.