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Eye On Boise

New NRA-backed concealed weapon permit revamp bill would remove elected officials’ special exemption

A Senate committee wasn’t enthusiastic, but agreed this morning to introduce legislation proposed by Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, to revamp Idaho’s concealed weapon laws. Changes include removing the current exemption from concealed-weapon permit laws for state legislators and other state and local elected officials, and clarifying that people can carry concealed weapons without a permit outside city limits in Idaho – that’s currently allowed with some restrictions, but Hagedorn’s bill makes the wording more clear and eliminates a requirement that the person be “engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, trapping or other lawful outdoor activity.”

Also, the bill says people can carry an unloaded concealed weapon in their vehicle outside city limits. “You can carry permitless outside city limits, but when you get in your vehicle, put the gun on the seat, then you put your backpack over it, it becomes concealed,” Hagedorn said. His bill would make that legal.

Senators on the committee questioned whether the lengthy bill would impose on a private property owner’s right to restrict weapons on their property; Hagedorn said no, but questions remained. The bill, like current law, also says people who are under 21, who have been convicted of a crime, who are subject to a protection order, who are on drugs, or who are mentally incapacitated can’t get concealed weapon permits.

Hagedorn said he’s been working on the bill since last January with the National Rifle Association, the Idaho Sheriff’s Association and others. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said a working group is scheduled to look at concealed weapon issues on Monday, and questioned whether Hagedorn could wait until after that to introduce his bill. He responded that there’s another bill already introduced – the so-called “constitutional carry” bill to remove the requirement for concealed weapons permits in Idaho entirely. “The public should have a view of both of these bills and get it out there,” he said.

Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, moved to introduce the bill, and acting Sen. Kimberly Johnson of Caldwell seconded the motion; when committee Chairman Curtis McKenzie called for the vote, only two “ayes” were heard, but there were no “no” votes. Pausing, McKenzie said amid some laughter, “The ayes weakly have it.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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