From the passage of the Brady Act and Assault Weapons Ban in the mid-90’s, to the National Firearms Act of 1934 regulating “gangster weapons,” and even to the Presidency of Andrew Jackson which instituted this country’s first weapons laws, gun control has been a political hot topic.
Now, in 2013 the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has forced the issue back into the minds and headlines across this nation.
In Idaho, a grassroots organization is looking to, as its President believes; return gun laws in the Gem State to their original Constitutional origins.
"Our main goal is to get our law more in line with what the true meaning of what the Second Amendment was," said Greg Pruett, President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. "By forcing law-abiding people to get concealed carry permits, it's not reducing crime in any way, shape, or form because the criminals don't get a permit."
According to the group's Facebook page, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance was founded to "fight for the 2nd Amendment rights of all Idaho citizens." Since its inception, the group has also started a petition asking for "support for a bill which will provide a statutory provision to allow a resident of this state to lawfully carry a firearm concealed for self-defense without obtaining the mandatory permit issued by the sheriff if said resident is otherwise legally eligible to obtain the permit."
The group has since moved on to looking into getting this petition into Idaho law.
"I want people to be able to defend themselves according to what the Constitution dictates," said Pruett, "I believe that if more law-abiding citizens were armed and went out and shot and trained with their firearm and know how to use them, I believe you would see crime rates decrease."
The law is known as Constitutional Carry. The law allows anyone who is not all ready excluded from doing so, to carry a gun concealed without needing a permit. Currently, four states - Vermont, Arizona, Wyoming, and Alaska - have Constitutional Carry on the books, with others having varied degrees of the statute.
According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compiled by The Guardian, in 2011 in the United States there were 12,664 murders, of which 8,583 were committed using a firearm. Looking at the same statistics broken down per 100,000 people, the US averaged 2.75 firearm murders, 39.25 firearm robberies and 43.77 firearm assaults.
Comparatively, Idaho saw 1.14 murders, 3.41 robberies, and 23.43 assaults.
Now, comparing the states that have Constitutional Carry on their books, Alaska was below the national average in both murders and robberies but nearly doubled the average for assaults. Arizona was above average on all three. Vermont - which is where the law originated - had .75 murders, 4.32 robberies, and 12.6 assaults. Wyoming checks in well below the average on all three.
Comparing now the states that have the tightest gun control nationwide, we looked at the four states that scored highest with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. California scored an 81 with the Brady Campaign and saw 3.25 murders, 42.97 assaults, and 45.39 robberies per 100,000 residents. New Jersey was above average in murders and robberies but below on assaults. Massachusetts was below in all three and New York was above average in murders but below in robberies and assaults.
According to the ISAA ten state representatives and three state senators have said they support the idea or concept of Constitutional Carry.
Coming up Friday night on KPVI News 6 at 6 we'll get reaction from two local sheriffs on the petition.
For more information you can visit the following websites: Gun Crime Statistics by US State: Latest Data
Idaho Second Amendment Alliance
Brady Campaign Scorecard