A bill that would allow 18- to 20-year olds to carry guns concealed within city limits passed the Idaho Senate (28-7) last week and was sent to the governor to sign, which he is expected to do. The bill passed in the Idaho House on March 14.
The legislation, H.B. 206, would lower the age limit for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit within city limits from 21 to 18. Currently, Idaho residents 18 and older may carry a permitless concealed weapon outside city limits.
With the new bill, Idaho citizens who are legally allowed to own firearms would be allowed "to do so within city limits without having to pay fees and obtain a government-issued license to do so," said the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action.
State Rep. Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot), who supports the legislation, told the Senate State Affairs Committee last week, "I say it’s the Idaho way, because the Idaho brand is one of a strong, independent people who are not afraid to take personal responsibility for their own lives.”
“A firearm in the hands of a law-abiding citizen is the greatest help to law enforcement that we have,” she said, as reported in the Idaho Press. “A young woman could carry a firearm discreetly in her purse for her protection.”
Boise Police chief William Bones opposes the plan because it does not requires 18-year-olds to undergo gun training. "This is about giving 18-year-olds the ability to carry concealed in the areas where people are most concentrated," he said, according to the Idaho Press, "with no training, no evaluation for the readiness before we put that gun in the hands of an 18-year-old within our community.”
However, Idaho 2nd Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett told the committee, “Our 18-year-olds, in my opinion, are just as responsible as anyone.”
As for training, Pruett said, “In our opinion, it is not the government’s job to enforce that on its citizens.”
Gov. Brad Little (R) is a lifetime NRA member and strong defender of Second Amendment rights. During his gubernatorial run in 2018, he said, "The 2nd Amendment in Idaho is a sacred trust guaranteed by our Constitution -- a fundamental and irrevocable right. Not only are guns vital to our way of life, they are important to our economy."
Little is expected to sign H.B. 206 into law.