Thursday, we examined a petition making its way around the Gem State from the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. If the petition were to become law, it would allow anyone who is not already excluded from doing so to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
KPVI News 6 checks in with two local sheriffs with their reaction to the petition if it was to make its way into the State law book and what they think should be done when it comes to gun control.
“The permit just makes sure that the person that’s carrying - it covers all the bases - there isn’t a mental issue that’s going on, there aren’t any felonies, there isn’t domestic violence,” said Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde.
“Recently, we’ve had mass droves coming in to make sure they have that permit,” Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said.
But that line would shrink if the ISAA petition were to become law. The petition asks for support for a law 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.”
“Right now, if there is an issue with mental health than I can have a hearing and I can bring the person in and we can discuss the capability of being able to carry concealed. Not carry a weapon, but carry concealed,” said Nielsen.
“You stop somebody out on the street for some reason or another and they’re carrying concealed, then it would be a matter that you got to check and say, ‘ok, is there anything in their background that would preclude them from (carrying concealed),’” Wilde said. “So what do you do, do you cite them for carrying concealed and send them court and make them prove or how do you do that?”
But, both sheriffs agree that it’s not the weapons to blame for the crimes committed using them.
“I don’t see guns as any more dangerous than I see cars,” said Nielsen, “We get more people killed in accidents than we do with (guns) and I just want them to handle them safely.”
“It’s really not about the tool, it’s about the person carrying the tool and if they’re appropriately using the tool, that’s what it’s about,” Wilde said.
Both men agree we need to address other areas when it comes to gun violence.
“The gun has nothing to do with the violence, it’s just a tool. Gun violence needs to be addressed in how our society perceives themselves,” said Wilde. “Violent TV shows, violent games, violence is just a common, everyday thing anymore. That’s not how society should be.”
“I’m real concerned about the rate of violence, in our county its been terrible in the last 12 months,” Nielsen said. “The officer involved shootings take their toll and we’ve got to do something about working on violence. I don’t know if we can legislate that but we need a community that has some values and morals and that isn’t so violent.”
And Nielsen has one piece of advice if you do decide to carry.
“If they want to carry weapons and they’re good at using them, I have no problem with it at all,” said Nielsen. “Just like if they want to drive they need to understand that when they get behind the wheel they could kill somebody. So, when they are carrying a weapon they need to understand that they damn well better pull that thing out unless they know what to do with it.”
For Thursday’s story on the ISAA petition you can click here
For more information you can also visit the following websites: Gun Crime Statistics by US State: Latest Data
Idaho Second Amendment Alliance
Brady Campaign Scorecard