Bill to Allow Concealed Knives Returns Monday, March 4

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Idahoans should be able to carry knives, tasers, stun guns or pepper spray on their persons without a concealed weapons permit. That's according to a bill sponsored by Mountain Home Republican Rep. Pete Nielsen.

Nielsen's bill would clarify what constitutes a "concealed weapon" under Idaho code. Currently any "dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or any other deadly or dangerous weapon" cannot be carried without a license.

If passed, certain small knives and other small weapons would be exempt.

Idahoans would be free to conceal carry, the bill reads, "any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle, any knife, cleaver or other instrument primarily used in the processing, preparation or eating of food, any knife with a blade four (4) inches or less or any lawfully possessed taser, stun gun or pepper spray."

Nielsen first introduced the bill to the House State Affairs Committee last week. He told lawmakers that as the law stands, a pocket knife would require a concealed weapons permit to carry. His son, he said, was recently cited for carrying a knife.

"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.

Committee members ultimately voted to send the measure back to its sponsor for more work. Nielsen said at the time he planned to polish the language before trying again.

Nielsen will reintroduce House Bill 223 to the House State Affairs Committee on Monday, March 4.

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