Saturday, March 19, 2016

Idaho House Passes Permitless or "Constitutional" carry

The House in Idaho has passed S 1389 restore permitless carry. SB 1389 passed the Senate 27-8. It passed out of the House committee yesterday, March 17th. It will be sent to Governor Butch Otter. Governor Otter has been shown to be a Second Amendment supporter in the past. It seems likely that he will sign SB 1389. It is an incremental step that is not far off of existing law in Idaho. Governor Otter signed the Idaho campus carry bill in the face of intense opposition by the powerful higher education lobby in Idaho. 

The Idaho Sheriffs Association has endorsed the bill.  They do not endorse legislation unless they have at least a two thirds majority of their members in favor of the legislation.

It has been expected that Idaho would pass a permitless or "Constitutional carry" law for a decade or more. Internal disagreements among Republicans have killed previous bills. Development of a strong grass roots organization pushing for permitless carry, appears to be what has motivated the legislators to pass this bill.

"Constitutional carry" is derived from the state of law that existed when the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, was ratified on December 15th, 1791. At that point, there were no restrictions on the bearing of arms, concealed or openly carried, by anyone who could legally possess them.

Eight other states have close approximations to "Constitutional carry" are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont. Idaho would make the eighth state to eliminate the necessity of a permit to carry concealed weapons for adults who can legally possess handguns. Vermont has had Constitutional carry since statehood in 1791, a few months before the Bill of Rights was ratified.

If Governor Butch Otter signs SB 1389, the number of states with "Constitutional Carry" will exceed the number of states that allow police or other government officials to heavily restrict the right to bear arms.  There are eight states that give state officials the power to deny their citizens the right to bear arms. That authority is wielded with subjective "discretion" rather than being based on objective criteria, such as previous felony convictions or mental illness.

Those states where Second Amendment rights are still subject to political "discretion" are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, are among the six in States that do not have protection for the right to keep and bear arms in their state constitutions.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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