Republican Gubernatorial candidates discuss gun rights in Idaho

NAMPA - A discussion on gun rights took center stage at the Nampa Civic Center Tuesday night as Republican gubernatorial candidates addressed hundreds of constituents.

Originally all three Republican candidates were scheduled to take part in the 2nd amendment forum, but at the last minute Lt. Gov. Brad Little had to cancel his appearance due to a family emergency.

Rep. Raul Labrador and Dr. Tommy Ahlquist both addressed the crowd with a strikingly similar view on the future of gun rights in the state of Idaho.

In light of recent mass shootings involving AR-15s, neither candidate thinks a ban on certain weapons is an appropriate solution.

"We will not make any dents in anything that’s going on by putting any restrictions on equipment," Ahlquist said.

"I don't think there should be any ban on any kind of weapons," Labrador added. "We already have a ban on automatic weapons and I don’t think we should ban any additional weapons in the United States."

When it comes to gun violence on school grounds neither candidate views a lower number of guns as the answer, instead saying students would be safer with armed teachers or campus security.

Both Ahlquist and Labrador feel recent mass shootings are not a gun issue.

“I do not believe that it is banning a gun that is going to prevent these things, it’s actually loving these children," Labrador said.

“There is evil around us," Ahlquist added. "And where does evil go when they want to kill lives? They go to safe zones that are not protected and no regulation is going to stop them from doing what they do; they’re planned, they’re evil, and they’re intentions are to go kill people.”

Both oppose raising the age to legally purchase a rifle to 21 and feel the age should stay at 18, and feel there should be no limit on the amount of ammunition individuals can purchase in a certain amount of time. 

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