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Idaho has been a prime candidate for Constitutional carry for decades. They’ve introduced bills ro restore residents’ gun rights, but they got bogged down in intramural fights among Republicans. Last year there were several public demonstrations in favor of Constitutional carry, and consideration of a bill was forced over the Republican leadership. It failed. This year may be different . . .

Representatives Ronald Nate and Heather Scott are sponsoring the latest Constitutional Carry bill. Speaker Scott Bedke was credited for the bill’s failure last year. This year, he thinks it might pass. From . . .

The Post Register (Idaho Falls, 12/14/15) interviewed Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke, and reported, “Bedke said gun legislation is likely. A bill that would have allowed any legal gun owner to carry concealed without a special permit — referred to as ‘constitutional carry’ — was introduced last year but failed to gain momentum. Bedke said he thinks similar legislation could pass this year.”

Speaker Bedke also said, “There’s a strong majority of Idahoans and legislators who believe that citizens have a right to protect themselves. In the wake of these mass shootings, I think that gets elevated.”

In 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified, Americans didn’t need a permit to carry weapons openly or concealed. That continued to be the law of the land into the 1830’s, when Southern states started to legislate against concealed weapons, to make it illegal for freed slaves and blacks to arm themselves.

Seven states have Constitutional carry: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming. Some pundits include Montana, where a permit is required for concealed carry inside city limits; and Mississippi, where no permit is required for concealed carry if the firearm is completely enclosed in a “container” like a purse, bag, or briefcase. Constitutional carry would be a small step for Idaho. No permit is required for concealed carry outside of city limits, and open carry has always been legal.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. I spend a lot of time in Idaho. It’s pretty much constitutional carry in most places so I hope they can make it official.

    • I’m a little upset about that myself. If you read our (OKs) concealed carry statutes, it’s legal for folks from states with constitutional carry to carry here. So our neighbors from Kansas can come down and carry without a permit. That irks me more than just a bit.

  2. Don’t see why concealed carry w/o a permit is allowed outside a city, but not inside one. Shouldn’t make a difference either way. Now, open carry within city limits I can understand requiring a permit.

    Pass this bill Idaho, I look to your state as the freest beacon in the Pacific Northwest and might move there when I retire in 2060.

    • Now, open carry within city limits I can understand requiring a permit.

      Why? What does a permit inside city limits prove? If I am going about my business in a peaceful manor and happen to be carrying a firearm, why do I need the state’s approval?

      Not trying to be an a$$, but curious.

      • I’m not big on open carry in an urban environment. The point of concealed carry is no one knows you are carrying and thus, prioritize you as the first target in an attack. Then there’s always the possibility of a gun grab. I just think people who go through good training should be allowed to open carry in a city, there’s a lot more that can go wrong when open carrying then when concealed carrying.

        I only recommend open carry out in rural areas where there is a higher chance of dangerous wildlife that can sneak up on you without notice and then you’ll need as fast a draw as possible, which is what open carry gives you.

        Inside the city, you don’t need to draw ANY attention to yourself. This is my opinion of course and maybe it’s skewed because I’ve never lived farther West than Indiana so maybe I’m not hip to the mindset of things in the Pacific NW.

        • I will never understand you CC guys. What is the point in being armed if a potential attackers doesn’t KNOW your armed? You look just like all the other sheep and you get treated like one. Targeted first in an attack? What your afraid of ISIS or something? Criminals aren’t after the life of random strangers. Its your valuables they want. Just like any other predator they are looking for the highest reward for the least effort. Thats why they became criminals in the first place. Getting into a gunfight with armed strangers is virtually never plan A for these guys. There is a reason that poisonous animals are brightly colored. It doesn’t do you any good for an attacker to find out how deadly you are AFTER the attack has begun.

        • Truth Tellers,

          You have valid points that support your position. And while you have decided that the risk/reward of concealed versus open carry in an urban environment means concealed carry for you, that should NOT be a government mandate for everyone.

          Consider this. A small car gets relatively good gas mileage and provides relatively little protection to its occupants in a crash. A large sport-utility vehicle gets poor gas mileage and provides superior protection to its occupants in a crash. Should government mandate that everyone drive one car or the other because one is “better” than the other?

          For some people, they prioritize gas mileage over driver protection in a crash and see little risk that they will ever crash into something. So they buy a small car. Others have the opposite position so they buy a large sport-utility vehicle. This is a personal choice and government must stay out of it … just like government must stay out of the personal choice whether to carry a handgun openly or concealed.

          By the way, with respect to a gun grab in an urban environment, that is why some of use wear retention holsters.

        • Even if you don’t specifically intend to open carry most of the time, carrying concealed becomes less of a hassle if you don’t have to be so concerned about printing, about the gun showing if you take your shirt off to do some work on a warm day, go for a run, gym, beach or bike ride, etc…..

          And, while smaller guns suitable for ccw has come a long way, many people are still more comfortable and competent with full sized weaponry.

          Over accident free time, it can’t help but help desensitize hoplophobes as well, which is always a good thing.

  3. I think Maine going CC will get the ball rolling and we will see a movement where more states are going CC. 15 democrats in the Maine State Assembly helped pass CC. So clearly there is bipartisan support at the state level. West Virginia thinks they can do it this year because they will introduce legislation so that it has have enough time to go back to the legislature for a veto override. Utah is probably one of the most conservative states in the country but the governor has veto’d CC bill twice. Not sure if there is enough support for a veto override though. I’m hoping we see at least three go CC this year to make it double digits. That plus Iowa finally legalizing suppressors would be huge (Iowa had way more than enough votes for a veto override but it was attached to spending bill that was veto’d and then not attached to second version).

    2016 will be a good year I think.

    • Yeah, there will probably be a few states within the next couple years that adopt permitless carry. I see states like Montana, North/South Dakota, Idaho, Nevada, and New Hampshire once the bimbo governor leaves to become Hilary’s running mate.

      But those are the only states you’ll see it in. Texas and Florida are way too big and it will never pass, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and pretty much the rest of the south never will because, and I don’t mean any prejudice, but they have large black communities in their cities and I think people will resent the idea of black’s carrying guns without licenses. Most of the states that have constitutional carry are overwhelmingly inhabited by white people and we know that many of the gun laws passed were to restrict blacks from owning and carrying firearms.

      Constitutional Carry is going to hit a glass ceiling and it’s only a matter of time. I’d say the best outlook for the carry movement is some day we WILL have national reciprocity and that all states will become Shall Issue states, no more May Issue baloney.

      • Mississippi went 90% constitutional carry where you don’t need a permit to carry off body concealed. I agree Texas and Florida probably will never go constitutional carry. However, I do not agree with your analysis of the South and black people being the cause for the states remaining shall issue only. Those states will come around, at least half of them. The bible belt is likely to go CC along with Idaho and Nevada, I agree with you there. That includes Missouri who just passed a constitutional amendment that ensures gun rights with a 73% in favor. The Missouri Supreme Court struck down the constitutional carry aspect of it, but if they get it on the ballot, I could easily see 50% of people voting for it. I think Utah will go constitutional carry either from a veto override or a new governor, especially after more states adopt constitutional carry. The only state I see in the midwest going Constitutional Carry is Indiana.

        • Doh! I didn’t hear about the MO supreme court striking down the constitutional carry… When that state constitutional amendment passed a year or two back I thought we were just a court case away from CC… 🙁

      • I’d be amazed to see Nevada go Constitutional Carry – the Clark County SD and LVPD will be the biggest barriers.

        Las Vegas is still a mob town, and they want to control guns, regardless of how RKBA-friendly the rest of the state will ever become. Las Vegas is a filthy town, filled with filthy political hacks, grifters, dead-enders and all manner of human debris. A few decent people live there, for what reason … I have no idea.

        • Well we already have permit less open carry in NV (not sure if Vegas is a carve out since I live in the northern part). Also I’m almost sure concealed off body is ok without a permit, at least that’s what I’ve been told by the local police.

      • Just out of curiosity, why is size (TX, FL) such an impediment to CC? The way some Texans insist on thumping their chests in totalitarian state gun shops and firing ranges, you’d think that state was 90% in favor of AK over the shoulder, belt guns in pickup beds Taliban “carry.”

        • Police unions lobby heavily against guns rights of citizens. I know for a fact they do in Texas. I’ve read a news article that it is possibly the same way in Florida.

  4. Too bad passing constitutional carry isn’t always enough . Montana passed it last year and our POS governor who won the election by just .6% of the vote vetoed the bill, along with campus carry.

  5. Good luck, Idaho!

    Jim Lucas is fighting the good fight here in Indiana, too. He introduced a bill last session, that RINO speaker Bosma killed. He’s introduced HB 1056 for this session. Bosma’s trying to quash it again, so any Hoosiers reading: get on the phones!

  6. I live in north Idaho (God’s Country) And I have open carrried for the three last years, I now have a permit to conceal yot still OC, I get a lot of stupid comments (mostly greenies from washington)
    most thought about open carry are negative and many give excuses why they dont.

    A right unused is a right lost

  7. PA has introduced a bill to change us to Constitutional Carry. Don’t know how far it’ll go, and I don’t know when it’ll even start going since we’re still dealing with all of these state budget issues that are keeping actual work from being done.

  8. Some pundits include Montana, where a permit is required for concealed carry inside city limits

    I spend half the year in NW MT, 20 miles from N ID, and yes, there is a difference. If you are out of town, you are more likely to either open carry, or just leave your guns in your vehicle. It is in town where you need concealed carry, and that is where you need a permit. And, some of the big cities (well, big for Montana, which are probably dinky for much of the country), in particular, enforce the concealed carry ban.

    I first noticed this a couple years ago when I ran into a used bookstore in Kalispell, which had a “guns welcome” sign in the window. We got to talking, and after that, I open carried whenever I visited (despite having a CCW permit from another state that worked in MT).

  9. I’m still mad Governer Herbert vetoed (mostly) constitutional carry in UT when I lived there. CCW works fine my rear end. SIGH

    Hopefully this will gain momentum and we can add a few more states to the list.

  10. Idaho should clear this defense status.
    For me it s unclear if is an stand your ground law state ore not.
    If not it passed an clear stand your ground law together.
    This is the point in most gun state ratings that idaho not score higher

  11. Wyoming does NOT have constitutional carry (for the umpteenth time, Dean). If you are from out of state, you still need a permit.

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