Greg Pruett, president of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, is the first to admit "Idaho is a very pro-gun state." Still, when some Gem State gun owners saw the Northeast liberal bastion of Maine had become the sixth state in the country to allow people to carry firearms without a permit, "We were a bit frustrated," Pruett said. "We thought Idaho was supposed to be leading the nation in protecting and expanding the Second Amendment."
Following the Maine decision, he will be on the road during the next two weeks, leading no fewer than five rallies to push for Idaho's own "constitutional carry" law.
"These events are focused on constitutional carry, or what we call 'permit-less' carry," Pruett said. "Our rallies are good family events. People ask me all the time, 'Can I carry my firearm to the rally?' My answer is, 'That's up to you.'"
The alliance, dubbed ID2AA, will hold three rallies in three days: Twin Falls on Thursday, Sept. 24; Pocatello on Friday, Sept. 25; and Rexburg on Saturday, Sept. 26. They'll take a few days off while they head north to hold rallies in Lewiston on Friday, Oct. 2 and Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, Oct. 3. Along the way, Pruett said select rallies will include some Idaho legislators who are strong advocates of a constitutional carry law for Idaho.
"Rep. Ron Nate [R-Rexburg] will join us in Rexburg, and when we're up in Coeur d'Alene, Rep. Heather Scott [R-Blanchard] will be with us, of course," said Pruett.
"Nobody has the right to tell a citizen when they can or can't defend themselves," said Pruett. "At our rallies, we'll be reading the names of legislators who are supporting our cause."
The group's biggest rally is set for February 2016, when the Idaho Legislature gavels back in session.
"Yes, we've been working with Reps. Scott and Nate on some proposed constitutional carry [legislation]," said Pruett. "Years ago, I thought this would have been an open-and-shut issue in Idaho. That was a little naïve. But now it's all about getting our legislators to understand how important an issue this is."