Idaho: Momentum Continues For Three Pro-Gun Bills

by Tommy Grant

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While legislators in some western states like Colorado and California continue to push more restrictions on lawful gun owners, Idaho lawmakers are soaring to the finish line with a number of pro-gun measures.

Fortunately for Idaho’s lawful gun owners, three such measures have been approved by the state legislature and sent to Republican Gov. Brad Little for consideration, while another remains in a Senate committee.

Senate Bill 1374 seeks to ensure that lawful Idahoans can carry firearms on public property during some special events and has been sent to the governor. The measure specifically prohibits private groups from restricting the lawful carry of firearms on public property unless the event is by invitation only, for commercial purposes and charges an admission, or it is otherwise apparent to a reasonable person the event is not open to the general public.

The bill states: “Any restriction on the carrying of concealed weapons pursuant to this subsection may only be invoked for public property owned by the state or its political subdivisions when the use of such property is for a private event by invitation only, for a commercial event that charges admission, or for any other event with restricted access whether admission is charged or not. For any such private event, commercial event, or other event, it must appear to a reasonable person that the general public does not have unrestricted access to the designated public property, or any subset of such property, that is normally and habitually open to the public.”

Another measure that we’ve mentioned here before, SB 1291, has also been approved and sent to the governor. That bill would prohibit public contracts with individuals or companies that are boycotting those that engage in or support the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of firearms, and would also require companies that contract with the state to disclose if their policies discriminate against the firearms industry. It would also protect some other industries that have been victims of such boycotts.

The measure states: “… a public entity may not enter into a contract with a company for goods or services unless the contract contains a written certification from the company that it is not currently engaged in, and will not for the duration of the contract engage in, a boycott of any individual or company because the individual or company: (a) Engages in or supports the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacture of fossil fuel-based energy, timber, minerals, hydroelectric power, nuclear energy, or agriculture; or (b) Engages in or supports the manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of firearms, as defined in section 18-3302(2)(d), Idaho Code.”

The third measure that has been approved and sent to Gov. Little is SB 1317, which would create a Gadsden Flag/Don’t Tread On Me license plate available to Idaho car owners. Revenue from the plate would be used to fund firearms safety training in schools.

So far, another pro-gun measure, HB 415, has hit a logjam in the committee process. That is the school carry bill that would permit some school employees to carry concealed firearms on campus in order to protect themselves and students. The bill has spent nearly the last month in the Senate State Affairs Committee without being addressed.

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