Skip to comments.Idaho Likely to Expand Not Restrict Gun Rights
Posted on 01/13/2013 9:39:25 AM PST by Red Steel
"There will be no legislation passing this body that restricts the citizens of Idaho from exercising their Second Amendment rights," said Brent Crane, house assistant majority leader.
Jan. 13--BOISE -- Recent mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado have some Idaho lawmakers looking for solutions, but that's unlikely to include tighter restrictions on gun rights.
If anything, they may consider measures that would expand access to weapons, in hopes of preventing these types of events. That includes the possibility of allowing public school teachers to carry guns.
It's unclear if any legislation will actually be introduced this session, but Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said a number of lawmakers are discussing the issue.
"There are a lot of ideas on the table," he said. "It may include firearms education in the classroom, maybe we do something similar to what they do on commercial aircraft with armed marshals. I think the biggest issue will be mental health. I'm looking forward to hearing the debate."
The NRA made national headlines last month, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which 20 children and six adults were killed, when it called for armed guards to be posted at all schools. Allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons has been mentioned as another possibility.
Hagedorn, who has a background in military security, likened the situation to a gem dealer putting a diamond on public display.
"You build rings of security around that diamond (to keep it from being stolen)," he said. "Well, our diamonds are the kids in the classrooms. In most schools right now, the only deterrent is the local police who are driving around the block; we have very little security closer in. We need to understand the value of those diamonds and build rings of security around them."
Lewiston School Superintendent Joy Rapp said her board will review safety plans this month, but hasn't yet discussed the issue of teachers carrying concealed weapons. Firearms currently are not allowed on school property.
"For me, as I listen to the debate, arming teachers seems to be the wrong way to go," she said. "In my conversations with police, they say officers in stressful (shooting) situations are accurate one out of three times -- and you know how much training they get. So when you think about 27 kids in a classroom, or 300 kids in an assembly, and having a bunch of armed teachers -- to me that doesn't feel like it increases safety."
Following the Sandy Hook shootings, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter asked retiring Idaho State Police Col. Jerry Russell to work with the state Department of Education to review school safety procedures.
The department conducted a similar assessment after another mass shooting in Pennsylvania in 2007. A number of problems were identified, including a lack of crisis response training, inability to control access to many schools and outdated or inoperable security equipment.
"After the assessment was done, we put together a security stakeholder group to look at how to make improvements," said Department of Education spokeswoman Melissa McGrath. "They did things like developing a template for a crisis response plan (that local schools could modify and use). We also set up combined purchasing for security equipment, like cameras and mass text messaging capability. Now that the issue has come up again, we're reconvening that group. Col. Russell will be leading it, and we're discussing what else he wants to do."
The Sandy Hook shooter and the shooter in the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre both allegedly suffered from mental diseases, so lawmakers will also be discussing mental health services in Idaho.
"I believe that's the biggest issue," Hagedorn said. "Guns are going to be part of the debate, but not necessarily the main focus."
In his State of the State address Monday, Otter supported a Department of Correction proposal to issue $70 million in bonds to build a new 579-bed secure mental health prison south of Boise. He noted the facility would have room for civil commitments, as well as criminal
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett of Ketchum said that might address the tail end of the mental health system, "but we need to be talking about the front end, where we help them be good citizens and provide the care they need so they aren't part of the correction system.
"We have to remember, a lot of military veterans are coming back with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other problems to rural communities that have very few veterans affairs services or hospitals to serve them. They're coming back to rural homes and will need local (services). This is a bigger issue than just what we see when one person cuts loose."
Otter said the state is working to combine programs and provide better service to individuals who need both mental health and substance abuse treatment. He also suggested the school security review could result in recommendations that will help other government offices and community services improve their safety procedures.
"It's hard to factor all these things in, while still recognizing the liberty and freedom that people want and at the same time making sure we remove access to weapons from people who can't make the right judgment calls," he said. "We want to very carefully, delicately try to treat these problems, rather than rushing in and overreacting."
House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, said one thing the Legislature won't do this session is approve any kind of gun control legislation.
"There will be no legislation passing this body that restricts the citizens of Idaho from exercising their Second Amendment rights."
Spence may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 791-9168.
At this point the states are our only hope against the creeping marxism in America and we hold considerable power with nearly half of them fully in GOP hands.
“”We want to very carefully, delicately try to treat these problems, rather than rushing in and overreacting.” “
The federal anti-gun activists KNOW more gun laws won’t prevent more mass killings. They don’t care. Their goal is to eliminate private ownership of firearms and are willing to walk on the bodies of murdered children to do it.
Then the states better arm up. Military power is real power.
The next step is to study the Swiss model of allowing all “qualified” citizens to be fully armed and trained with modern automatic weapons.
Way to go!
Wyoming, Idaho, Utah....
more states should do same.......
"We have to remember, a lot of military veterans are coming back with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other problems to rural communities that have very few veterans affairs services or hospitals to serve them. They're coming back to rural homes and will need local (services). This is a bigger issue than just what we see when one person cuts loose
Spoken like a true demonrat. Perpetuating the lie that veterans are dangerous to the public.
She's from the Ketchum-Sun Valley-Hailey megaplex where all the Hollywood types summer or winter. There are some really good people in Blaine County, but they sure get tarred by the liberal idiots who have moved in and outvote them.
John Kerry's wife had a complete ancient English cottage taken apart and flown over for one of their houses there.
One of the major reasons I moved to Idaho from San Diego. I value freedom. I have to work in San Diego right now. No firearms :-( I can ride my Harley most days :-)
Hopefully, Texas will follow suite. Not a lot of action down here on that front from what I can tell.