The Right To Carry: Local Gun Owners Rally To Support Constitutional Carry Legislation

Posted by jhingarat21 on 10th Oct 2015

Dozens of gun advocates rallied Friday in support of constitutional carry, which states that Idaho residents would be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit if a bill to be introduced by the Idaho House State Affairs Committee is approved.

But even supporters admit it will be a tough hill to climb — currently only 14 state legislators have gone on the record in favor of it.

The bill, which is backed by the National Rifle Association, has much in common with one recently introduced into the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee. It reorganizes the concealed weapons code to make it more user-friendly and specifies that a permit is not required outside of city limits.

Current law says a permit isn’t required outside a city while an individual is engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping or other lawful outdoor activity. The new law will also say gun owners can carry a concealed weapon in a vehicle without a permit, provided it is unloaded, disassembled or in a case.

The legislation, dubbed the constitutional carry bill, would not affect enhanced permits like those required to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, according to Greg Pruett with the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.

Preutt, along with Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, and Rockland resident Lance Earl spoke from the bed of a pickup at the event held Friday evening at Pocatello’s Bonneville Park.

Earl emphasized the words “shall not be infringed” from the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

“These are inalienable words, but many people do not know or understand them. I believe they allow me to carry my firearms any way I want to protect my pretty wife, my children and my home.”

He added that while at an event like this, he can openly carry a weapon, but if he went to Wal-Mart, he would most likely have to conceal his gun.

“It should be my choice,” he said.

Nate, a freshman representative, echoed those sentiments while reading sections of the Second Amendment.

“This is as clear a language as you can get,” he said. “Our rights come from the good graces of God, not from the good graces of the government. We need to expand these rights, not restrict them.”

Nate added that lawmakers shouldn’t expect more violent crime because of the bill.

“I would ask any of you to go the states that have constitutional carry already and find instances where those things are happening,” he said.

Currently, Idaho’s elected officials are allowed to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

“Idaho citizens want to be part of that exception,” Nate said. “They feel that the Second Amendment is their permit, and they shouldn’t have to get permission to defend themselves.”

{div}Seven other states — Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming, Kansas and Maine — have enacted similar legislation to Pruett’s bill. Vermont has never required a permit for concealed carry. Alaska instituted a constitutional carry law in 2003. Arizona, Arkansas, Wyoming, Kansas and Maine have joined within the past five years.{/div}

“I can accept that Kansas, a very good conservative state, passed this before Idaho has,” Pruett said with a laugh. “But Maine is a state ruled mostly by Democrats.”

{div}He also thanked the crowd, which numbered close to 100, for their participation, but declared that “after tonight, the work is still not done.” Pruett read a list of those who currently support the measure, while a much longer roster includes those who are openly opposed or not committed.{/div}

One of those opposed is Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, a gun owner himself, but with serious reservations on this bill.

“Idaho has some of the most lenient carry laws in the United States,” Lacey said. “But this is just going too far. It also says that you can have guns and carry them without any training whatsoever. I just don’t believe in that. To me, this is just a way for the NRA to sell more guns, that’s all.”

Several local Republicans also have questions, including Rep. Marc Gibbs, R-Grace.

“Do I believe in the Second Amendment? Absolutely,” Gibbs said. “Can I support this bill in its present form? No. I believe there are too many fatal flaws in it right now. I am concerned that there is no provision for mental illness or that felons may own guns. These things are very troublesome.”

Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, indicated he would normally support legislation such as this, but he has not yet had to opportunity to study this bill as thoroughly as he would like.

“I am a big supporter of the Second Amendment and would normally vote for a bill like this,” Bair said. “But the devil is always in the details, and I am not prepared to commit at this particular time.”

Nate added that the people have the right to be secure and that securing a free state is also why these rights are so important.

Original Article Here