For Immediate Release
Boise, Idaho, Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, the premier organization defending Idaho gun owners’ Second Amendment rights, announced its support for House Bill 89.
“News reports of what HB89 does and does not do are being published throughout the state that clearly misstate the facts behind the bill,” said Greg Pruett, President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. “HB89 serves to decriminalize the Second Amendment in Idaho. States that have enacted Constitutional Carry have seen crime rates stay flat or decrease. HB89 isn’t about criminals since criminals ignore the law. HB89 is about protecting Idaho citizens.”
State Affairs Committee Chairman Loertscher and House Speaker Bedke have prevented HB89 from getting a hearing. Mr. Loertscher has referred HB89 to a secret committee with no published membership and no lawful authority in the legislature. This secret committee does not hold hearings and is unaccountable to the public. The reason for burying HB89 in this secret committee is unclear. Initially Mr. Loertscher stated he wanted to make sure this bill didn’t compete with a senate gun bill, which it does not. More recently, sources reported the secret committee assignment is due to a fear the State of Washington will cancel reciprocity for Idaho’s Enhanced Permit, similar to what happened with Washington-Alaska reciprocity when Alaska enacted Constitutional Carry in 2003.
The ISAA reached out to Alaska authorities to find the truth. According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the State of Washington has never recognized a concealed carry permit from Alaska. Alaska authorities stated “we have paper records back as far as September of 2000. In all of those years the state of Washington has not recognized or reciprocated with the Alaska ACHP.” The lack of reciprocity has nothing to do with Constitutional Carry that Alaska instituted in 2003. Further, HB89 does not change Idaho’s concealed weapons permits and the Enhanced Permit will require the same training it does today. The Washington-Idaho excuse is either fear-mongering or ignorance, and Mr. Loertscher should be ashamed either way. Regardless, the NRA and Idaho legislators continue to use Washington- Idaho reciprocity as an excuse to hold HB89 in the secret committee.
HB89 does not change when or where someone might carry a gun in Idaho. It is currently legal to carry a gun openly. However, current regulations make it a crime to wear a jacket that covers the gun. HB89 simply protects law-abiding gun owners from senseless restrictions that criminals ignore anyway.
Politics in the Idaho Capitol are now reminiscent of Congress. Mr. Loertscher’s recent tantrum on the House floor bemoaning his constituents attempts to make their position clear on this important bill are but one failing of the Idaho political scene. Conspicuously missing from Mr. Loertscher’s complaint that his constituents were calling him at home is the fact that he, himself, published his home phone number in both the legislative directory and his own campaign page.
The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance urges citizens to contact their state legislators and make their voices heard on HB89. State Affairs Committee Chairman Loertscher may be reached at 208.332 1183 or [email protected] and House Speaker Bedke at 208.332.1183 or [email protected].
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