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Posts tagged: guns

Child with toy gun prompts lockdowns, searches at two elementary schools

Eighteen law enforcement officers searched two southwestern Idaho elementary schools for nearly two hours Tuesday morning after a second-grade student brought a toy gun to class, the AP reports. Canyon County Sheriff's spokesman Joe Decker said teachers called officers after a young student reported that another child riding the bus had what looked like a handgun. The bus had carried students to two Middleton elementary schools, and so both were placed on lockdown while officers searched for a weapon. Sheriff's Captain Dana Maxfield said the toy was found about two hours later in the possession of a boy who was around 8 years old, and who may have simply wanted to show his friends. Maxfield said that was a dangerous move, however, because the black-and-brown toy looked real except for a bright orange cap. Maxfield said school officials planned to talk to the child's parents.

Toy gun leads to felony-style takedown

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Police in northern Idaho say a person waving what turned out to be a toy gun from a car window resulted in officers with weapons drawn stopping the vehicle at a fast food drive-thru and handcuffing the three males and one female inside. Police Lt. James Fry tells the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (http://bit.ly/147bGT7) that a report Wednesday afternoon of a person waving a gun resulted in the felony-style takedown of the vehicle's occupants. Fry says officers typically take emergency precautions when a gun is reported as part of an incident. Fry says a 20-year-old male passenger was taken into custody on an arrest warrant in Latah County for failing to appear in court on charges of minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gun laws make Idaho a haven for firearms supporters

As the nation is locked in debate over expanding background checks and other measures aimed at stemming gun violence, Idaho lawmakers this year debated nine gun bills and passed four – every one of them aimed at increasing protections for Idahoans’ gun rights. The bills that passed were mostly minor tweaks to Idaho’s existing gun laws; the most significant creates a new enhanced concealed weapons permit, allowing Idahoans to choose to go through more training and get a special concealed gun permit that will be recognized in more states than Idaho’s existing permit.

“There’s little doubt that Idahoans are very supportive of the 2ndAmendment,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke. “I think we made significant progress on that front.”

Some lawmakers expressed disappointment that the state didn’t go further; the House passed a bill, HB 219, to make it a misdemeanor for Idaho police officers to enforce any new federal gun laws, but the bill died without a hearing in the Senate amid constitutional questions. Idaho’s existing gun laws already are among the least restrictive in the nation. The NRA calls Idaho a “gun-friendly” state, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rates it as tied for next to last among states in its gun-control laws, scoring only 2 out of 100 possible points.

“Since I’ve been in the Legislature, every year we work on gun laws, tightening up our gun laws and making sure we’re protecting people’s rights to own,” said Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, a retired Navy officer who’s sponsored lots of gun-rights legislation and is in his seventh year in the Legislature. “It’s getting hard for us - there’s no easy fixes any more.” That hasn’t stopped Idaho lawmakers from trying. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Report: Most Idaho gun deaths self-inflicted

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press:  TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A report from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare shows that 199 Idaho residents died from being shot in 2010, and most of those deaths were self-inflicted. The Times-News (http://bit.ly/TsFl5e) reports that 183 of those deaths were found to be suicides. According to the report, just 12 gun deaths were found to be homicides, three were because of an accidental discharge of a gun and one was of undetermined intent. Ross Edmunds with the department's division of behavioral health said western states tend to have higher suicide rates than other parts of the country, and about 90 percent of people who commit suicide have either a mental health or substance abuse problem. 

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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