Idaho Dispatch

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Bill to Allow School Staff to Carry Firearms in Idaho Schools Passes House Overwhelmingly

By • January 31, 2024

A bill to allow school staff in Idaho to carry firearms on school property has overwhelmingly passed the Idaho House of Representatives.

The legislation applies only to school employees who have completed the enhanced concealed weapons training course and successfully obtained an Idaho concealed carry permit. The sponsors of the bill, Representative Ted Hill (R-Eagle) and Senator Todd Lakey (R-Nampa), explain in the bill’s statement of purpose:

“There is a desperate need to make our schools secure from individuals that desire to inflict harm on students. The best solution to defend schools is an effective physical security posture and to hire full-time armed guards. The armed guard option is cost prohibitive and not sustainable. This legislation provides an alternative to the hired armed guards by giving the opportunity for Public K-12 school employees to carry concealed weapons and can act as an armed protection force within the confines of the school. Individuals that are willing to participate in this program will need to have completed an enhanced concealed weapon training course. Additionally, this legislation requires all schools to remove “Gun Free Zone” signs from all public K-12 schools.”

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The full text of the legislation is 10 pages long. The bill would amend §18-3302 and §74-106 Idaho Code to allow staff to carry their firearm on school property, to shield information about the employees from public records disclosure, and to remove signs from school property which read “Gun Free Zone.”

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The vote count in the House of Representatives was 53 in favor, 16 opposed, and 1 absent.

The ayes (votes in favor) included: Alfieri, Allgood, Andrus, Barbieri, Blanksma, Boyle, Cannon, Cheatum, Cornilles, Crane(12), Crane(13), Dixon(1), Dixon(24), Durrant, Ehardt, Ehlers, Erickson, Furniss, Gallagher, Garner, Handy, Hawkins, Hill, Holtzclaw, Horman, Kingsley, Lambert, Manwaring, McCann, Mendive, Mickelsen, Miller, Mitchell, Monks, Palmer, Petzke, Pickett, Price, Raybould, Raymond, Redman, Sauter, Scott, Shepherd, Skaug, Tanner, Vander Woude, Weber, Wheeler, Wisniewski, Wroten, Young, and Mr. Speaker (Moyle).

The nays (votes against) included: Berch, Burns, Chew (Wilson), Clow, Galaviz, Gannon, Green, Healey, Lanting, Mathias, Nash (Coberly), Necochea, Nelsen, Roberts, Rubel, and Yamamoto (the names in parentheses indicate an alternate chosen by the Representative voted in that person’s absence).

The absent member was Representative Bundy.

Greg Pruett, President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, told the Idaho Dispatch,

“HB 415, while not nearly as good as the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance would have drafted, is a step in the right direction. Employees who are already carrying everywhere else, should have the ability to defend themselves, students, and others, if they so choose. How is having more good guys with guns worse than letting a bad guy with a gun kill, unimpeded? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Is someone who is opposed to arming school employees going to be mad if one of those employees stops a mass killer? Of course not. Let’s be proactive in protecting our schools, not reactive.”

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Tags: Concealed Carry Permit, Enhanced Concealed Weapons Training, H415, House Bill 415, Rep. Ted Hill (R-Eagle), School Carry, Senator Todd Lakey

17 thoughts on “Bill to Allow School Staff to Carry Firearms in Idaho Schools Passes House Overwhelmingly

  1. The obvious flip side to this is that more school employees themselves would be armed for their own protection as well. This is long overdue…a band-aid of sorts as Mr. Pruett has implied, but a good first step.

    Our own children are grown, but I fully support this nonetheless. Now, about that curriculum and the smutty library content…

  2. I’m old enough to remember the good ol’ days, back when there were very few school shootings — you know, back before the Gun Free School Zones Act. Since the GFSZA, the frequency of school shootings has increased exponentially. The very best thing that can be said about the GFSZA is that it doesn’t work, but the numbers suggest it has made things worse. It’s time for a different strategy. Let the maniacs know that any attempt to harm school children will be thwarted swiftly with deadly force.

    1. Our principal found it necessary to email us as an “in case you missed it” letter telling us about this bill and the library bill. She has never brought any other legislation to our attention and also failed to mention other legislation pertaining to schools like the school choice bill. She did it all under the guise of “parents, thought you’d like to know.” She did not take a stand but I’m pretty sure it was a dog whistle to leftists. And this is up in the Panhandle.

  3. It’s about time, a little on the short side but a big step compared to most other states.
    Funny back in my day as most people say yeah we had guns in the gun rack, pocket knife in the pocket, and a billy club under the seat.
    The part we seem to miss, when you had a problem with someone it never escalated to guns, if you had a bully that never escalated to guns.
    But it would always go out to the parking lot for a good olé ass wiping. If the bully was to big well that’s what the billy club was for.
    Funny how quick a mouth will close and a bully can learn respect.

  4. This is a smart and welcome bill. I am retired from 33 years active fulltime municipal law enforcement and totally concur with this bill. Good for our state. Gun free zones are a plague on the nation and are only supported by fools and libtards. Now lets get rid of the democrats and RINOS who voted against such a common sense measure and are ruining our state and America. MAGA for ever!

  5. Don’t be fooled by some of those Aye votes. In most locations in Idaho, it’s certain defeat to oppose gun rights when campaign season arrives.

  6. It’s About Time we did something to protect our children besides putting up signs that say GUN FREE ZONE outside our schools.

  7. Never thought this would happen in 1 million years! I mean who in the world wants to protect school students? You would think “everyone but that’s not so. This bill is so long overdue! What should happen next??… people who own firearms should be granted “ free firearm training. Many who own guns do not have the FUNDS to obtain training. That would be a bill that I would have in the house right away! Everyone owning a gun should have the right to be trained as to how to use that gun properly. Training is very expensive. Please look into this immediately. Our country is on the line.

  8. Not wanted by law enforcement or any of the school districts, who will see their insurance policies cancelled or premiums increase significantly.

    1. And you know this how???? Your worried about the cost of insurance or it’s cancellation when I’m more worried about the innocent kids who will be at risk with out a deterrence.

    2. School District’s management is a big part of this problem.
      Also, it could be that, the majority of rank and file law enforcement fully support parents and teachers protecting children.
      It’s been proven many times that there is a deadly gap between the start of an incident and arrival of law enforcement.
      Insurance premiums should decrease considerably once these realities are anaylized.

  9. Nice ,, now we need to get our politician thieves to eliminate property taxes. They are a crime because in all honesty you can not really own property if it is taxed. Grocery taxes are fine because the low income cost society the most and need to pay for their added burden on society

  10. I took the enhanced conceal course years ago and maintain my ECC. That said, the course requires you to be able to shoot from the prone position, one knee on the ground, from vertical to kneeling, shooting around objects,.shooting from the hip etc. It’s not super physical but now I’m mid 60s and retired, it might not be as easy as it was when I took it years ago. My point is, there are going to be many great shooters who may not be able to pass the physical portion of the class. My wife and I are both pretty good marksmen and practice kneeling or from behind a tree but I know a whole bunch of folks that can out shoot us but aren’t in good enough shape to kneel or run & hide behind a tree before shooting.

    It’s a good start but they might want to drop the enhanced physical requirement.

    1. We took the enhanced about 4 yrs ago and had to do none of that. We passed with flying colors. No physical activity needed. But there is a class that one can take that does require physical activity but it’s not for a enhanced carry card. At least ours wasn’t.

  11. Gun Free Zones are a magnet for criminals with guns, giving them full assurance they are free to kill without threat of any immediate consequences. Thank you Idaho for eliminating this failed policy. The only way to stop criminals with guns is to allow law abiding citizens, including teachers, to conceal carry guns.

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