Guns on campus lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed in my home town of Moscow Idaho to allow guns on campus. This is particularily interesting to me because of the home town jurisdiction, I have a daughter attending the University, Barb and I lived in “Married Student Housing” owned by the University when we first got married, and I know the judge the case has been assigned to. Judge Stegner is the father of a couple girls my daughters used to be friends with. Our children would sometimes visit each others home for parties, etc.. Judge Stegner was also the judge on the trial when I did jury duty.


There is a website for the case but there isn’t much there yet. The lawsuit claims the ban on firearms in family housing owned by the University violates the Second Amendment. One would think that the Heller decision would make this a relatively easy win but things are never as easy as one would like to think.


I certainly like the idea but it bothers me a great deal that the plaintiff, Aaron Tribble, is doing this PRO SE.


I sent an email to the lawyer that sent me the case asking what he thought the chances of screwing up things from doing this PRO SE were. I’ll try to keep everyone up to date on this action and might even have a chat with Mr. Tribble when I go back to Idaho next weekend.


Update: First error, it should have been filed in Federal Court, not locally. I wondered about that…


It also complicates a few other things that I won’t get into in a public venue.

18 thoughts on “Guns on campus lawsuit

  1. Maybe what will screw up the case is not the pro se representation but the fact that even in Idaho not everyone subscribes to your extremist views.

    Guns are often bad news. And when they aren’t they usually don’t help anyway, just look at Tuscon or the Detroit police station.

  2. I find it very odd that for someone who claims to not know and not care about causation and how to determine truth from falsity that you would express a declarative statement such as “Guns are often bad news”.

    I just can’t formulate a model for your behavior that includes the ability to form complete sentences with such inherent conflicts without having such high levels of mental strain that your personality disintegrates. But maybe my assumption that your personality hasn’t disintegrated is in error…

  3. This is yet another example of how the left seeks to avoid a straight-up conversation. “Automobiles are often bad news” is a true statement. So is; “baseball bats are often bad news” and “bicycles are often bad news”. That’s because bad things happen, because the words “often” and even “bad” are subject to individual interpretetion, and because that which is or is not considered “news” is also dependent on the choice of the news services.

    You know what they say about one who represents himself in court…
    On the other hand, my experience with lawyers, especially in the Moscow area, has been that they are, as often as not, working deliberately against their own client, having a personal conflict of interest.

  4. Chris,

    Apparently not in WA. While the RCW guarantees the right to bear arms in defense of oneself and the state–and has been interpreted repeatedly as preempting local restrictions (mostly Seattle and/or King County getting slapped down)–the administrative code (which applies to all state universities) specifically prohibits students from exercising that right.

  5. Would the exhaustion of remedies doctrine apply here? If so, I hope he has first exhausted any administrative remedies before filing suit…

  6. I lived in UofI married housing for a couple years. I had a deer hanging from my front porch one year. There are great out door recreation areas in the Palouse. Silly rules by silly people.

  7. I know Idaho is not Washington. I’m pointing out that’s the way it is, and in a lot of places. In Idaho, it’s a matter of “school rules”, but since it’s a state school that usually means it’s a matter of the administrative code. Administrative law is kind of interesting, based on “rulemaking” rather than legislation, but the rules have the force of law and the usual constitutional protections don’t always apply. It can actually get quite messy to try to overturn that sort of thing on constitutional grounds.

  8. So, I’m pretty sure that guns actually STOPPED the attack in Detroit. Because I’m pretty sure the cops that shot the guy in Detroit weren’t using crossbows.

  9. Nice comment Mike B. Someone has a different belief and the Lib writes it off as “extremist.”

    You’re right…Let’s pass a law, I’m sure the criminals would obey it. You outlaw guns, then only outlaws have guns.

    While we are outlawing guns, let’s make swimming pools illegal too.

    From Freakonomics Chapter 5:

    “Consider the parents of an eight-year-old girl named, say, Molly. Her two best friends, Amy and Imani, each live nearby. Molly’s parents know that Amy’s parents keep a gun in their house, so they have forbidden Molly to play there. Instead, Molly spends a lot of time at Imani’s house, which has a swimming pool in the backyard. Molly’s parents feel good about having made such a smart choice to protect their daughter.

    But according to the data, their choice isn’t smart at all. In a given year, there is one drowning of a child for every 11,000 residential pools in the United States. (In a country with 6 million pools, this means that roughly 550 children under the age of ten drown each year.) Meanwhile, there is 1 child killed by a gun for every 1 million-plus guns. (In a country with an estimated 200 million guns, this means that roughly 175 children under ten die each year from guns.) The likelihood of death by pool (1 in 11,000) versus death by gun (1 in 1 million-plus) isn’t even close: Molly is roughly 100 times more likely to die in a swimming accident at Imani’s house than in gunplay at Amy’s.”

  10. So I see now that preemption is not enough, since it fails in Idaho, Washington and other places.

    It looks like one of the root problems is “rulemaking,” that is rules with the force of law created by unelected bureaucrats (burrocrats?).

  11. That pretty well sums it up, at least as far as I understand it (standard disclaimer–IANAL)

  12. The easiest way to fix it would be for the state legislature to pass a statute saying in essence “you (whoever that is) don’t have the authority to regulate that.”

  13. Oh, right, guys, you don’t know what I mean by “bad news,” is that it?

    Thanks for the laugh Joe, “such high levels of mental strain that your personality disintegrates.”

  14. mikeb is now blithering incoherently. I dispatched your ridiculous “bad news” assertion in my earlier comment, mikeb. Be a man and live with it.

    I was just told that at U of I, if you’re coming in to Idaho as a non-resident, you are required to live in campus housing of some kind for the first year.

    Understand that the U of I has been gobbling up land (all the while, continuously, complaining about “budget cuts”) since I came here in the late 1970s, and they’ve been using a lot of it to build student housing. As a property owner and landlord I sure didn’t appreciate the state confiscating my money and using it to compete with me in the rental business. The larger developers probably appreciate them even less.

    And of course, along with relying on the state for housing (being required to rely on the state for housing in many cases) comes the strings – “No constitutional rights for you, Sucker. We built this place and we’ll make the rules.” Further; I doubt they have much in the way of 4th amendment rights in campus housing, when push comes to shove.

    Another upshot is that, since more and more of the city now “belongs” to the university, there is a smaller property tax base, so a dwindling percentage of private property owners are forced to bear the burden of an ever-growing state complex.

    There is also a larger percentage of potential voters who rely on the state, and upon those leftists in state government who keep the coercive money spigot running, which is as much the point here as anything.

  15. The preemption statute does not apply to UI, as IC 18-3302(J)(5) specifically exempts all state colleges and universities from the effect of the statute. That’s the legislature’s fault…

    Filing in state court was appropriate, as his case claims a violation of his right to bear arms under Article 1, Section 11 of the Idaho Constitution, as well as the 2nd Amendment. State courts are competent to apply both state constitutional provisions and federal constitutional provisions to the facts of a case.

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