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Eye On Boise

Otter signs permitless concealed-carry law, despite concerns; also signs bill restricting HOAs

Gov. Butch Otter signed two controversial bills into law today: The permitless concealed-carry bill, and the bill banning homeowner’s associations from restricting short-term rentals. He expressed concerns about the gun bill, but signed it nonetheless.

The gun bill, SB 1389, allows Idahoans age 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit inside city limits. Otter proclaimed himself “a gun owner, a hunter and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association,” but said nevertheless, he has concerns about the bill. “I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry," the governor wrote in a transmittal letter to Lt. Gov. Brad Little, president of the Senate. “Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.”

“In the absence of such a provision,” Otter wrote, “I encourage anyone considering concealed carry to take advantage of gun safety training opportunities available from many reputable sources throughout Idaho. I also encourage the Legislature to monitor the exercise of this new law and respond appropriately when and if the lack of a statutory education and training requirement undermines public safety.” The bill passed the Senate 27-8 and the House 54-15.

The homeowner’s association bill, HB 511, passed the House 60-6 and the Senate 20-14. It has an emergency clause, making it effective immediately. In a letter to House Speaker Scott Bedke, Otter wrote, “This legislation clarifies what I consider to be a common-sense position in support of private property rights.”

“I understand concerns about the potential for property values being damaged by rentals and the mission of HOAs to collectively protect and enhance the property value of its members,” he wrote. But he said they still could change covenants and restrictions, under the bill, if they got the property owners’ written consent. “Without that consent, the legislation properly preserves homeowners’ freedom to lawfully rent out their property,” Otter wrote.

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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