In great news for Idaho gun owners, today, the state Senate passed House Bill 301 by a 30 to 5 vote. HB 301 now heads to Governor Butch Otter (R) for his consideration and signature.
HB 301 passed by an overwhelming margin despite recent attempts by the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association to mischaracterize certain provisions within the bill. Simply put, if an individual is ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm under state or federal law, he or she will be ineligible to obtain an Idaho concealed weapons license (CWL), no exceptions.
Idaho Code, Section 18-3302, Idaho's statute regulating the carrying and licensing of concealed weapons, was enacted in 1990. It was passed by the Idaho Legislature over significant opposition; both internal and external. Scare tactics proclaiming that there would be "blood in the streets" were espoused; tall tales of hyperbole--of course--that never came to fruition.
Since its enactment in 1990, section 18-3302 has been amended nearly 20 times. This has resulted in a statute that was already difficult to understand, becoming even more convoluted. House Bill 301 seeks to remedy this problem. The purpose of this legislation is to re-codify existing law in a manner that provides Idaho residents and law enforcement officials with clear and unambiguous guidance on the rights and restrictions contained in the provisions of Idaho Code regulating the carrying of concealed weapons.
The NRA believes that this re-write of 18-3302 accomplishes the stated goal in four major ways. First, HB 301 provides definitions for commonly used diction. Second, this legislation—where possible—places statutory provisions in list format, as opposed to the burdensome paragraphical format that is currently used. Third, the proposed re-write seeks to clarify provisions pertaining to carrying of concealed weapons outside the “limits or confines of any city.” Fourth, the legislation seeks to lower CWL fees by providing that the sheriffs may only charge $20.00 plus the actual cost of administering the license.
Your NRA-ILA is committed to fighting to ensure law-abiding Idahoans are protected from unwarranted prosecution and excessive fees for merely wishing to exercise their right to carry concealed weapons in accordance with Idaho law. Please contact Governor Otter and politely urge him to sign HB 301 into law. You can call him at (208) 334-2100 or send him a message here.