Governor says safety is "everybody's responsibility" in wake of Parkland shooting

Posted at 3:31 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 17:50:04-05

"I would be less than honest if I felt that we were safe all the way across the board," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Thursday during the annual Idaho Press Club Breakfast with the Governor.

During the hour-long media event, Otter responded to questions about the safety of Idaho schools in the wake of Wednesday's shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Otter was quick to recognize the efforts of superintendents to create policies and procedures, such as checking in and escorting all visitors, directed at protecting kids on school grounds.

The Governor added the onus is on Idahoans to be vigilant in efforts to look out for and report suspicious activity. 

"I can't tell you that we're danger free," Otter said. "I think that we've got to be on guard all the time, and it's not just the teachers' responsibility and it's not just the superintendents', it's everybody's responsibility."

Otter would not go as far as to suggest specific polices Idaho could enact to prevent a shooting scenario. 

"I don't feel comfortable getting into a situation saying what kind of weapons the public should have available to them," he said. 

The legislature has introduced multiple bills regarding gun laws this session. The bills were introduced prior and unrelated to Wednesday's shooting. 

One bill would loosen the permitless concealed carry law to allow all adults over the age of 21 to carry concealed weapons without a permit. 

Currently, state law says only Idaho residents may carry concealed weapons in most places without a county-issued permit. However, concealed weapons are still prohibited inside schools, courthouses and jails as well as private businesses that decide to prohibit firearms.

Sen. Antony Potts, R-Idaho Falls, introduced the legislation that would no longer ban non-Idaho adults over the age of 21 from carrying concealed weapons without a permit.

Another bill would prevent those found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning a gun

The proposal introduced Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, would prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from having guns by making it a misdemeanor for anyone who has been convicted within the last two years of assault or battery against a household member to possess a firearm. A violation of this provision would be punishable as a misdemeanor.

Those bills have yet to receive a full legislative hearing.