By: José Niño
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law HB 516, a bill to strengthen Constitutional Carry in the state.
The bill was quickly passed in the House on a 56 to 14 vote on February 27. The Senate passed the bill on a 27 to 5 vote on March 18.
Idaho originally passed Constitutional Carry in March of 2016. One of the particular idiosyncrasies of Idaho’s Constitutional Carry law was that it only applied to residents of the state. Two other states — North Dakota and Wyoming — similarly only apply Constitutional Carry to residents. Idaho’s restrictions also applied inside of incorporated entities, such as towns and cities – parts of the state where many people spend most of their time.
HB 516 changed all of that. The bill removed discrimination, and now Constitutional Carry applies to all American citizens and Idaho residents who are 18 years of age or older. The law appears to be going into effect immediately.
Idaho is currently ranked in an exceptional second place according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s Best States for Gun Owners rankings. In passing HB 516, Idaho will only strengthen its pro-Second Amendment profile. Other states, including Louisiana and Tennessee, are also considering Constitutional Carry legislation this year. Should these states pass clean Constitutional Carry bills, America will then have 18 Constitutional Carry states.
Constitutional Carry has been a bright spot for the Second Amendment during the last decade. Last year was a surprisingly good year for Constitutional Carry, as South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky restored the right to carry in their jurisdictions.
Idaho strengthening its Constitutional Carry shows that pro-gun legislation is indeed making progress in certain parts of the nation. Second Amendment proponents should not lose faith and instead look at the legislative successes in states like Idaho and replicate similar legislative efforts in their respective state governments.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.