On Thursday, the Idaho House unanimously passed a bill that would create an ‘enhanced’ concealed carry permit, one that requires more training but also expands carry benefits for licensees who travel outside state borders.
Due to it’s relatively lax issuance standards, Idaho’s concealed carry permit is only recognized by 11 other states.
Under House Bill 192, gun owners would have the opportunity to take additional training, including an eight-hour safety course with a certified instructor that features live-fire instruction (minimum of 98 rounds) to obtain the ‘enhanced’ permit, giving the applicant CCW reciprocity in as many as 40 other states.
“I think this will help Idahoans that travel intrastate with concealed weapons,” Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) told the IdahoReporter.com.
“The present system of having to get an Idaho license and then to obtain a separate concealed carry permit in other states is too cumbersome,” he continued. “It’s about time we took care of this.”
Rep. Gayle Batt (R-Wilder) who co-chairs the House State Affairs Committee echoed Barbieri thoughts, but added that the ‘enhanced’ license would not replace the existing CCW permit.
“It’s important to note that this new permit would not replace or eliminate the existing permit that is issued in our state,” Batt told the IdahoReporter.com.
In other words, if the bill becomes law, which is highly likely do to the overwhelming support – it passed by a vote of 68-0 and it’s difficult to imagine the state Senate, where the bill is now headed, would find it controversial – Idahoans have more options moving forward: stick with the traditional permit or complete the additional training and opt for the ‘enhanced’ one.
The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Joe Palmer (R-Meridian) spoke about the positive reception the bill has garnered from the public and from gun rights organizations.
“This is supported by the NRA and the FOP, and I haven’t had any opposition to this bill,” Palmer told the Spokesman Review. I’ve had lots of letters from people throughout the state, throughout other states that appreciate this.”
“This is just getting people more well-trained to be able to handle weapons,” Palmer added.
Not too long ago, Congress was debating the merits of the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, which would have established national concealed carry reciprocity across all 50 states. However, in the wake of the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, the movement to expand gun rights and concealed carry at the federal level has lost significant momentum.
Consequently, with the country in the throes of a heated debate on gun control, any steps taken by state lawmakers to expand gun rights and concealed carry should please gun owners nationwide. It reassures us that, despite what some would have us believe (Bloomberg, Piers Morgan, etc.), the entire country hasn’t become completely unmoored from its founding principles.
Of course, some gun owners might remind us that ‘shall not be infringed’ means exactly that, and requiring extensive training for one to exercise his/her right to keep and bear arms isn’t ideal progress. But all things considered, it stands to reason that most gun owners would applaud Palmer and the Idaho House for passing HB 192.