'Constitutional Carry' Bill Surfaces in House State Affairs Committee


Members of the House State Affairs Committee heard a bill this morning that would allow Idahoans to carry concealed weapons without a permit. 

HB89—a so-called Constitutional Carry bill—would strike provisions in Idaho Code mandating licenses to carry a concealed weapon outside one's home, place of business or property in which the citizen holds a lease. It would also nix language detailing who is exempt from state licensure requirements, like retired police officers and publicly elected officials. 

Openly carrying a weapon is already legal in Idaho.

Introduced by Greg Pruitt, of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, the Constitutional Carry bill would make it legal for any person 21 and older to carry a concealed weapon without a license "provided that the individual meets the standards of eligibility ... within the state of Idaho." That means felons and others with criminal backgrounds, a history of mental illness, substance abuse problems, illegal immigrant status and a range of other qualifiers are still barred from carrying weapons. 

The bill also cautions that federal and state laws differ on possession of a weapon or firearm, and "a state permit is not a defense to a federal prosecution."

According to the bill's Statement of Purpose, if signed into law, HB89 would "align Idaho laws with the true meaning of the Second Amendment such that law abiding citizens may carry concealed weapons without a permit. ... This bill does not impact criminal activity."