Status of Idaho Constitutional Carry Bills!

Last Wednesday and Thursday Idaho citizens were introduced to 2 separate versions of “Permitless Carry”.

The first bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Nate and Rep. Heather Scott on Wednesday the 20th of January. ISAA released a Press Release the following day detailing our position on that bill. There were good things in the bill such as no “duty to inform” and no training mandates. It does expand permitless carry to inside cities which will mainly cover you while in your vehicle. It also retains the age limit for carrying a sidearm in the county at 18.

Our main concern is that the bill would make it so that law abiding gun owners would have to ask for permission from property owners and lease holders to enter their premises prior to permitless carrying. The permission portion was added last year from House Bill 301. Essentially gun owners will still need to retain their permits because it will be impractical for permission to be received from every property owner, business and residential. Property owners can already, and have for years, had the ability to ask someone to leave if they didn’t want firearms on the premises. House Bill 301 made matters worse by having the government mandate what two private entities must do in regards to firearm’s possession. This must be removed to make it permitless carry and the ISAA has been discussing possible amendments to the bill with Rep. Ron Nate.

A second bill was introduced by Rep. Ron Nate and Rep. Heather Scott on Thursday the 21st of January. The remainder of this post will detail our position on the bill.

There are good things about this bill that are similar to the first one. There is no “duty to inform” or other training mandates. Such amendments seek to undermine the original concept of the bill and only seek to infringe on law abiding gun owners. The bill differs from the first version in that the “property owner” portion and other unnecessary language is stricken from state code. Under this version the vast majority of citizens 21 years and older would be able to carry throughout Idaho without a permit.

This version does need some slight tweaking as well. With the sections crossed out it inadvertently raises the age limit in the county to 21 from 18. An amendment is needed to retain the county age limit to 18 while potentially leaving the city age limit at 21. The easier amendment would be to put the age limit at 18 all around. Some may ask “Why 18?”. The reality is that for decades 18 year olds have been able to open carry sidearms in Idaho. For nearly a year now they have been able to conceal carry without a permit in the county areas. As would be predicted, no one is talking about it because it isn’t an issue. Additionally, as a country we ask our men and women to put their lives on the line at 18, so why do we then believe we can infringe on their 2nd Amendment right to defend themselves? We believe this can easily be amended.

Another section of individuals was left out from subsection 11. These individuals are those who can obtain a permit currently thanks to House Bill 301. Many of them are individuals who in decades past had made mistakes and lost their 2nd Amendment rights. Even though their rights had been restored many couldn’t obtain a permit until last year. Under the 2nd bill those individuals wouldn’t be able to permitless carry. We would like to see this portion amended as well but can also fight for this at a future time if we can get the main portion of the population covered this year.

In conclusion, we believe the 2nd bill is the closest to what Idaho citizens want but a few minor tweaks would really make it a great bill and with the age limit adjustment, Idaho can become the 8th Permitless Carry state.

Please continue to reach out to your legislators to demand the best Permitless Carry bill. Idaho citizens deserve nothing less. Stay tuned!