Lawmakers Want More Information Before Exempting Pocket Knives as Concealed Weapons

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A proposal to let Idahoans carry small knives without a concealed weapons permit needs reworking, according to lawmakers, after vetting the measure at a Thursday morning meeting of the House State Affairs committee.

Sponsor Mountain Home Republican Rep. Pete Nielsen said the bill would exempt knives 4 inches or less in length from requiring a concealed weapons permit to carry on one's person. Nielsen showed his colleagues a knife he carried as an example.

"This knife, or any Boy Scout knife, or even if you had even a knife that’s that long, under Idaho statute, you have to have a concealed weapons permit because it's classified as any other dangerous weapon," Nielsen told the committee.

Nielsen said the bill would also clarify the classification of pepper spray, tasers and stun guns, allowing citizens to carry those items without a permit.

"A lady, or a man, but I’m thinking mostly ladies, it would be very advantageous if they could carry that without a concealed weapons permit."

Committee members ultimately voted to send the measure back to its sponsor. Nielsen planned to polish the language before reintroducing it to the committee.

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