Op-Ed: A Decade in Idaho Gun Politics

It wasn’t long after my time in Iraq that I ultimately sat down and told myself that something in Idaho had to be done to protect the 2nd Amendment.

Yes, there were national groups that were already up and running, but Idaho didn’t really have a big local group that could get to our capitol on a daily basis if needed to help advocate for gun owners.

And no group in Idaho, local or national, was pushing for Constitutional Carry and other major pro-2nd Amendment reforms.

While Idaho is a very pro-2nd Amendment state, we lagged behind on a number of issues. In fact, when I started the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance back in 2012, Idaho was ranked 32nd in the Guns and Ammo annual rankings!

This was unacceptable to me.

I had seen the results of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny firsthand and I promised that I would do everything I could to ensure that American never went down the same path.

So we started the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance with the primary goal of passing Constitutional Carry and then working on other issues afterward.

It took us nearly seven years to fully complete the process of getting Constitutional Carry through the Republican-led legislature.

Idaho passed a major portion of Constitutional Carry back in 2016. Then in 2019 and 2020, we expanded the law to where all Americans, 18-years-old and older, can carry their firearms concealed in Idaho without a permit!

The ISAA has also spent the better part of the last eight years fighting against cities and counties that are violating the state’s firearm preemption law.

There isn’t a part of the state where we haven’t had to help overturn ordinances that were in violation of our firearm laws or public areas where firearms were being prohibited which is also a violation of the law.

In fact, the ISAA is suing the city of Sandpoint right now for a violation of the Idaho Constitution and our state firearm preemption law.

Overall, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance has helped correct over 80 violations of Idaho’s firearm preemption law!

Additionally, we have helped support a number of other pro-2nd Amendment bills and have fought to make Idaho’s gun laws even stronger.

Of course, getting these laws passed should be relatively easy. Sadly, a number of Republican lawmakers continue to be a hindrance inside the capitol.

That’s why the ISAA is very active at election time letting voters know which candidates are upholding their promise to fight for gun owners and which ones only paid lip service.

In 2018, one of the biggest political upsets of the decade in Idaho took place when then-candidate Chad Christensen defeated 32-year incumbent Rep. Tom Loertscher!

Loertscher had been the Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee but had refused for years to give gun owners a hearing for Constitutional Carry.

Gun owners did not take kindly to that blockage and gave Loertscher a stunning rebuke on election night.

Many other politicians and potential candidates have also gone against gun owners in Idaho and the results have been the same.

The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance isn’t done yet though!

We are now working toward a stronger Stand-Your-Ground law, a stronger firearm preemption law, a much better “2nd Amendment Sanctuary State” law, and so much more.

It is imperative that Idahoans help fight to protect the 2nd Amendment for what is happening now and what may happen in the future.

Thank you for standing with us for the last 8 1/2 years and we hope that in 2021 and the coming decade you will continue to fight for the cause of liberty in Idaho and our right of self-defense in particular!

Join the ISAA today by clicking here and becoming our newest member.

Greg Pruett is the Founder and President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance and also serves as the Political Director for Washington Gun Rights. He has also previously served as the Political Advisor for the Wisconsin Firearms Coalition.

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