Saturday, March 19, 2016

Idaho Poll on Permitless Carry

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An online poll at BoiseWeekly is showing the strong support for permitless or "Constitutional carry" in Idaho.

The question is:
Do you think Idahoans should be able to carry concealed firearms without a permit within city limits?
Currently the poll is at 81% for restoring the right to bear arms concealed without a permit.  

Link to the poll

On line polls  measure the ratio of those who are interested enough to answer an online poll. The results here are typical.  Second Amendment supporters typically outnumber those who push for more restrictions by 3-10 to 1. In this case the ratio is now 5-1 ratio. This poll is asking a fairly clear question about the desirability of a permit requirement for a Constitutional right.

People in Idaho have a long history of having the right to bear arms in most of the State without any permit.  It is not surprising that they would support this small, incremental step to restoring a right that many believe they have always had.

The poll in Idaho is topical because the legislature is in the process of debating a bill to restore permitless carry.  The bill, SB 1389 has passed the Senate 27-8.  It passed out of the House committee yesterday, March 17th.  It may come up for a vote in the full House today.  If it passes, 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 would sign SB 1389.  It is an incremental step that is not far off of existing law in Idaho.

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 Idaho passes SB 1389, the number of states with "Constitutional Carry" will exceed the number of states that heavily restrict the right to bear arms.  There are eight states that give police the power to choose to deny their citizens their right to bear arms.  That authority is wielded with subjective police "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 police "discretion" are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.  Four of those states, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, are among the six in the United States that do not have a 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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