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Permitless concealed carry bill unveiled

Posted at 11:02 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 19:30:11-05

A second bill that would allow legal gun owners to carry a concealed gun inside city limits without a permit has been introduced to a Senate panel.

The bill, carried by state affairs chairman Senator Curt McKenzie, would remove current restrictions on permitless carry within city limits. Idaho law right now allows for permitless carry only in the county. McKenzie, R-Nampa, said this bill creates uniformity between counties and cities.

"I think it's a good policy from the state," he said. "We have a very strong constitutional protection of the right to carry and this is consistent with that."

If the proposal passes, it would not be free reign for gun owners in the state. Certain people are unable to carry a concealed weapon at all, including anyone under 21, convicted felons, and those diagnosed with a mental illness.

The bill is co-sponsored by heavy hitters in the House, including Speaker Scott Bedke, Majority Leader Mike Moyle, House state affairs chairman Tom Loertscher, and gun proponent Rep. Chrisy Perry. McKenzie anticipates with all the support, his bill will clear both the House and the Senate with relative ease.

McKenzie's measure is very similar to a previously printed permitless carry bill authored by Representative Ron Nate, R-Rexburg. Nate introduced his measure as a personal bill and it has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee, the graveyard for proposed legislation.