Idaho bill advances out of committee despite opposition from law enforcement

The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee has passed House Bill 206 on a 7-2, party line vote. This bill would lower the legal age for concealed carry of a firearm within city limits without permit or training to 18 years of age, and passed easily despite testimony from Boise Police Chief William Bones in opposition to the bill.

“Our 18- and 20-year-olds already have the right to carry those firearms and they have the right to carry them concealed when they are hunting and hiking,” he said. “They also have the right to obtain a conceal carry permit in the state, but to do so, they have to go through some training. And that is what this is about. This would give those 18-year-olds the ability to carry guns concealed in the areas in which people are most concentrated and it gives that ability with no controls, with no prior training.”

In passing the bill, committee Republicans sided with witnesses like Eric Parker, one of the criminals indicted for the 2014 armed standoff at the Bundy Ranch, and against Chief Bones, who was there testifying on behalf of the city of Boise and its police department.

“Inevitably this would lead to an increase in weapons at parties, concerts, sporting activities and any other location where youth might gather and those guns might come into use,” Bones continued. “My biggest concern is not over how to use a firearm as far as pulling the trigger and aiming, a lot of our youth are exposed to that from the time they are very young, but it is in the decision-making of when you should pull that trigger.”

HB 206 is before the Senate after passing the Idaho House in another straight party-line vote two weeks ago.