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ID poised to lower permit-less gun carry age to 18

A concealed carry holster. (Alian Gear Holster/WikiMedia)
March 28, 2019

The Idaho House and Senate passed bill HB 206 that could make it legal for 18- to 20-year-olds to carry concealed firearms without a permit if Governor Brad Little signs it into law.

Currently, gun owners aged 18-20 can legally open carry a gun in the state of Idaho, but they are required to obtain a permit with mandatory training in order to carry concealed, according to the Idaho State Journal.

This bill removes the permit and training requirement, allowing those 18-20 the same rights as those 21 years and older have had in the state since 2016.

The bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Steve Vick said, “What we’re talking about is extending to 18- to 20-year-olds the same fundamental and constitutional right to self-defense as all other adults have.”

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“Sometimes in life people are threatened, and they feel that their lives are in danger, and they want to carry a hand gun to defend themselves from that danger,” Vick added.

The process to get approved for a concealed carry permit is lengthy and costs money.

Vick said, “During that time, as an Idaho resident, you are unable to legally carry a handgun concealed, and I don’t believe that is proper. You can’t wait to carry to defend yourself because the threat is imminent.”

State Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder said, “I don’t think we want our law-abiding citizens of any age to be faced with being charged with having a concealed weapon on them because they drove from one part of the county to the other.”

There were many who opposed HB 206, mainly because they believe the lack of training is problematic.

One opponent, State Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett said, “The big difficulty I have had with this bill all along is the lack of training. It wasn’t much to ask for a little bit of training — I think my hairdresser has more training and licensing than people who are allowed to carry guns, and this is a problem.”

Another opponent of the bill, State Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking said, “I have two friends who lost children to a firearm accident when they were at a party. I have no assurances from this bill that this makes our children safer — maybe if we built in some training, I could support this.”

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Some simply don’t think that an 18-year-old is responsible enough to carry a gun.

To that, Vick responded, “We’re not talking about children. We’re talking about legal adults that have the rights of legal adults.”

State Sen. Grant Burgoyne said, “There is a difference between the rural environment and the urban environment, and the responsibility of people with guns in those two environments. This legislation does not take account of that.”