The Idaho House voted today on HB 516, the final piece of Constitutional Carry in Idaho.
The bill passed on a party-line vote of 56-14.
HB 516 now heads to the senate State Affairs Committee.
If the bill makes it through committee it would then go to the full Idaho Senate. The final step would be the signature of Idaho Governor Brad Little.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Christy Zito (Republican – Dist. 23) was pleased with today’s vote.
She told Northwest Gun News, “I am just so grateful for the support of the gun owners in Idaho in helping get the bill this far. I also want to thank those who voted in favor of HB 516 today. This is a great bill that helps bring Idaho closer to being in line with the 2nd Amendment.”
Idaho’s current law allows non-Idahoans to carry their firearms concealed without a permit everywhere, except for inside city limits while outside of a vehicle.
This illustration explains exactly what HB 516 is trying to fix.
HB 516 had approximately half of the Idaho House as co-sponsors.
On the Senate side, approximately five of Idaho Senators are already co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder.
Idaho’s pro-gun bills usually see lengthy and spirited debates.
However, very few legislators debated on the bill.
Two Democrats debated against the bill. One of the Democrats was Rep. John Gannon (Boise) who expressed his wishes that local cities had more control over gun rights.
Shockingly, many of the Democrats who usually stand up and oppose gun bills did not do so today.
Only two Republicans, other than Rep. Zito, discussed the bill on the House floor.
Rep. Bryan Zollinger (Republican – Idaho Falls) gave an excellent speech on not infringing on the 2nd Amendment. He argued that passing HB 516 brings us closer in-line with the intentions of the 2nd Amendment.
Rep. Caroline Troy (Republican – Genesse) asked Rep. Zito several questions about HB 516 and how officers would know if someone was a citizen or not. It appeared as though Troy was signaling opposition to the bill.
Of course, Rep. Zito answered Rep. Troy’s question by explaining that unless a crime was committed, there would be no reason for officers to question someone’s citizenship.
Idaho is a non-disclosure state, meaning citizens are not required to disclose whether or not they are carrying a firearm.
Ultimately, Troy voted in favor of the bill.
Idaho’s gun owners now eagerly await the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on the bill.
To stay informed about the progress of this bill, follow the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. It is their efforts that got Constitutional Carry passed in 2016.