Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Idaho Senate panel backs permitless concealed-carry gun bill

BOISE – New legislation to let Idahoans age 21 or over carry concealed guns without permits inside city limits cleared a Senate committee Monday on a 6-3 vote.

Rich Chaney of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance told senators, “This is really a common-sense gun bill. …It’s perfectly legal to open-carry right now anywhere in the state.” But, he said, “If you put on a coat, now you’re a criminal.”

At a two-hour hearing on Monday morning, eight people spoke against the bill, SB 1389, including Boise Police Chief Bill Bones; 14 spoke in favor of it.

“I will tell you, our crimes in the city, I’ve never had a crime committed by somebody that was doing an open carry,” Bones told the Senate State Affairs Committee. “It’s somebody carrying a concealed weapon.”

Currently, people can’t get a concealed-weapon permit if they’re drug addicts, severely mentally ill or a convicted felon, Bones noted. “All of those are contained still within the language, but there’s no realistic way for an officer to implement that in the field.”

The bill lays out categories of people who couldn’t carry concealed weapons, but unlike current law, it would essentially be self-policing – since no permit would be required, people wouldn’t have to undergo a background check to see if they fall into one of the categories, from drug addicts to convicted criminals.
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