TODAY   |  March 13, 2014

Idaho governor signs controversial campus gun bill

Idaho’s governor signed a controversial bill Wednesday that would allow some people to carry guns on college campuses. The measure sparked a lot of debate, and an eye-opening letter from one college professor. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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>> now to idaho where the governor has now signed a bill that will allow guns on college campuses. it's a controversial measure that's generated a lot of debate and an eye opening letter from one professor. here's nbc's joe fryar.

>> since many of my students are likely to be armed, i thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field .

>> reporter: at boise state , this dna expert is suddenly diving into politics, concerned about plans to allow guns on college campuses. he wrote a satirical letter published in the "new york times" and headlined by a shocking question.

>> when may i shoot a student?

>> newtown and columbine often come to mind. he writes about past encounters with disgruntled students.

>> i always assumed when they reached into their back pack, they were reaching for a pencil. but now that they will be packing heat, i would like legal instruction. he asked if i'm working out a long equation on the board, and several students try to correct me using their laser sights , am i allowed to fire a warning shot?

>> supporters say those with enhanced concealed carry permits have a right to protect themselves within campus borders.

>> i look at this more as an individual protection, not for the masses but for individuals.

>> the state representative says he more worried about every day criminals but school shootings concern him, too.

>> i wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing i watched something so horrible and heinous happen and people were murdered and i just had to lay down and hope i wasn't next.

>> reporter: the professor opened up the question for debate in class.

>> you are reacting to an attack, why not level the playing field .

>> people are going to carry whether you restrict them or not.

>> i have a conceal carry. i'm not sure whether it's appropriate on campus, i'm torn.

>> and the professor said he's just trying to generate opinions.

>> mission accomplished to open the dialogue, which is so important. i love seeing the students all have a different point of view to add to