Guns

More than 30 cities and counties in Idaho have changed local laws on firearms or eliminated signage prohibiting guns in public places over the last year. It’s all the result of a systematic effort by one gun-rights group.

Garden Valley Installs Firearms In School

May 28, 2015

The isolated Garden Valley School District has installed firearms in its only school building and trained staff to use them in response to an active shooter.

Citing safety reasons, Superintendent Marc Gee won’t say how many guns and safes were installed or where they are located. This summer, the district will post signs warning that the school building is armed and educators are prepared to defend against violent intruders.

A bill that would require criminal background checks for private gun sales in Oregon is on its way to the governor's desk. The Oregon House narrowly passed the measure Monday.

People who buy guns from private sellers in Oregon would have to clear a background check under a bill moving through the legislature.

Roo Reynolds / Flickr

A bill clarifying that Idahoans can carry concealed weapons outside city limits without a permit has passed the Idaho House.

The House voted 57-11 to approve the plan to rewrite the state's concealed weapons laws.

An earlier version removed the exemption that allows lawmakers and government officials to carry concealed weapons without a permit. But the exception was put back in after lawmakers on the House's powerful State Affairs Committee said the bill would die without it.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A bill backed by the NRA in the Idaho House turned out some unlikely opponents Monday: Idaho gun owners.

The NRA said it’s a modest bill, mainly aimed at making Idaho’s law on concealed weapons clearer. It would also remove an exception.

Right now Idaho law says elected officials don’t need permits to carry concealed weapons. This bill would say they do.

That is part of what gun rights advocates object to.

Supporters of “knife rights” are urging Idaho lawmakers to pass a bill that would keep cities and counties from restricting the possession and sale of knives.

Elected officials in Idaho do not need permits to carry concealed weapons.

Keary O. / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho lawmakers are once again seeking to remove a special exemption that allows elected officials to carry concealed guns without a permit.

The House State Affairs Committee voted Monday to introduce the bill, which would rewrite most of the state's concealed weapon laws and clarify confusing sections for law enforcement and citizens.

Last year, a similar bill passed the House 62-7, but failed to pass a Senate panel.

Utah's governor says he would veto a resurrected bill that would allow anyone over 21 to carry an unloaded, concealed gun without a permit.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he thinks Utah's gun laws work well as they are.

A Senate committee voted 4-1 on Tuesday morning to approve the proposal, which now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

It mirrors a similar one introduced by a House Republican earlier this year.

That lawmaker, Rep. Curtis Oda, agreed to withdraw his proposal as part of a deal with Herbert.

Dainel Lee / Flickr

The chairman of the House State Affairs Committee says his family and the families of other committee members are being harassed by backers of a proposed law to allow Idaho residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Republican Tom Loertscher of Iona on Tuesday on the House floor said his and the home phone numbers of other committee members are being published.

But Loertscher says the lawmakers are at the Statehouse so family members are getting the calls in what he says is a "new low," and he is asking the callers to "cease and desist."

Idaho Capitol Senate
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

The Senate State Affairs Committee has introduced a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons outside city limits in Idaho without a permit.

Republican Sen. Marv Hagedorn from Meridian told the panel Friday that his bill would also remove a rule that lets state legislators carry concealed guns without a permit.

Currently, Idahoans are allowed to hunt or fish without a concealed weapons permit.

Some lawmakers asked whether the bill would limit property owners' rights to restrict guns on their property. Hagedorn told them it wouldn't.

Idaho residents would be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit under a new bill introduced by the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday.

Greg Pruett with the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance said the legislation, dubbed the "Constitutional Carry" bill, would not affect enhanced permits like those required to carry concealed weapons on college and university campuses.

The panel voted to introduce the bill along party lines, with its four Democrats voting no.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Five of Idaho's universities and community colleges say they've spent more than $1.5 million for additional security since lawmakers approved a law allowing concealed guns on campus.

The Idaho Statesman reports the schools sought $1.55 million this winter plus another $2.17 million for the rest of the budget year to help with expenses.

But Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, the College of Western Idaho and North Idaho College will likely have to absorb the costs.

Investigators say a laptop computer from the vehicle of a man suspected in a deadly shooting spree in western Idaho could yield clues to a motive for the violence.

Moscow Police Chief David Duke said investigators searched the car of 29-year-old John Lee, recovering two semi-automatic pistols, a revolver, a shotgun and a rifle, along with the laptop.

Lee was arrested following a high-speed chase in nearby Washington state in the hours after the shootings Saturday afternoon.

Toddler Accidentally Shoots, Kills Mother At North Idaho Walmart

Dec 30, 2014

This story was updated at 5:18 p.m. 

The Kootenai County Sheriff's office confirms a 2-year-old boy shot and killed his mother inside a North Idaho Walmart.

In a press release, officials write the accidental shooting occurred at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, inside a Hayden, Idaho Walmart.

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

Russell Heistuman / Flickr Creative Commons

The Coeur d'Alene City Council says guns will now permitted at public events like parades.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the council unanimously made the change Tuesday night, changing an ordinance prohibited guns within 1,000 feet of a parade. City Attorney Mike Gridley says the rule was originally created to avoid conflict in the community when the white supremacist group Aryan Nations was still headquartered in the region. The Aryan Nations compound closed after lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center bankrupted the group in 2000.

For the first time in at least 20 years, significantly more Americans say it's more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) sided with gun rights compared with the 46 percent who favored gun control.

The findings represent the continuation of a shift that was only briefly interrupted by the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in 2012.

Dainel Lee / Flickr

Idaho is among 21 states asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that bans 45 assault weapons and limits gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

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