Idaho Dispatch

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Lewiston City Council Member Wants to Ban Open Carry at Protests

By • June 11, 2020

Northern Idaho has seen a number of protests in support of George Floyd.

With Antifa and other rioters across the country burning buildings and looting stores, some citizens were concerned the rioter’s efforts would spill over into Idaho. There were unconfirmed rumors that had spread claiming Antifa was making their way to northern Idaho to continue their mayhem.

A number of gun owners in places like Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston stood peacefully with or near protesters to prevent Idaho from a fate similar to that of cities in the state of Washington.

Two citizens in Coeur d’Alene greet each other. Both armed.

Some politicians in Idaho were not happy with the armed residents who were with or near the protesters.

Bob Blakey, a Lewiston City Council member, wants to pass a resolution to the Idaho state legislature which would give the city the ability to ban the open carrying of firearms during protests.

Blakey made the suggestion at the Lewiston City Council meeting on June 8th.

Blakey is likely to run into several issues in his effort to pass such a resolution. First, the Lewiston City Council by Blakey’s own admission doesn’t appear to support his effort.

Second, the state legislature has no regulatory power over the open carrying of firearms.

Idaho’s state constitution specifically gives the legislature the ability to regulate firearms that are concealed. It has long been interpreted that they do not have the ability to regulate open carry as a result of this specification.

Even changing Idaho’s firearm preemption statute (18-3302J) would not allow the city to regulate the possession of openly carried firearms.

Blakey, who has unsuccessfully run for both state legislature and county commissioner as a Democrat, had this to say to local media outlets:

I see it through a different lens maybe than the Second Amendment group. I see it the same way we don’t allow smoking in bars, and we don’t allow you to walk into a store with no shirt and no shoes. There are a lot more of those types of sideboards we have on our rights,” Blakey said. “I’m not taking a right way from you going to a store if you have to wear a shirt and shoes. It’s a health issue.”

Even in the proposal were possible, it would be unlikely to go anywhere in Idaho’s Republican-dominated legislature.

Incoming Representative Aaron von Ehlinger (Republican – District 6) had this to say about Blakey’s proposal when he told Idaho Dispatch, “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. I’m not sure what Democrats like Bob Blakey don’t understand about that. This sort of proposal might fly in Blakey’s home state of New York, but it will never fly in the great state of Idaho. As an Idaho State Representative, I will fight any and all gun control bills. End of story.”

Additionally, Rep. Mike Kingsley (Republican – District 6) also told Idaho Dispatch, “Bob tries to play both sides. He shows on his Facebook page that he is an antique gun enthusiast, but when it comes to protecting citizens, businesses, and liberty, he wants to stop our rights. One or the other Bob, you can’t have it both ways.”

Blakey’s proposal has also angered local 2nd Amendment supporters who are now seeking a recall of the city council member. As of this date, no official recall has been filed against Blakey.

However, Heather Rogers, who is leading the effort for the recall, told Idaho Dispatch that an official recall is coming. “We are in the process of filing and hope to have it complete in the next few weeks,” she said.

The group is also planning to protest at the next city council meeting in frustration over Blakey’s proposed resolution.

The Facebook event link has this in the description of the event:

“We will be meeting and protesting how our city counselor Bob Blakey wishes to infringe upon our 2A RIGHTS. Bob Blakey needs to be removed from city council. We will be rallying together in support of our 2A Rights during the city council’s next meeting. We the people WILL NOT allow people to trample upon our rights.”

Time will tell if the group will be successful in their efforts or if Blakey’s proposal will harm his future election efforts.

Idaho is a gun-friendly state and Blakey’s proposal also drew the ire of Idaho Second Amendment Alliance Chairman Seth Rosquist who told Idaho Dispatch, “Blakey is no friend of the 2nd Amendment. His proposal is not only unconstitutional but it is also irrational. The armed citizens who stood with protesters and against potential threats from Antifa and other radicals are a lot like your safety rules at work. No one realizes how important they are until they aren’t there.”

Rosquist also said that he would adamantly oppose any proposed gun control effort by Bob Blakey or any other politician in Idaho.

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Tags: 2nd Amendment, Aaron von Ehlinger, Bob Blakey, Idaho, Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, Lewiston, Open Carry

21 thoughts on “Lewiston City Council Member Wants to Ban Open Carry at Protests


  2. Good people have the right to bear arms, he bad guys always have guns or know where to steal them, for Heavens sake let us have the right to protect our homes and family.

  3. Idaho will see lots more of this as New Yorkers and Californians ect. flee their home states but want to turn Idaho into a clone of the state they left.If that is their intention then stay the hell out or assimilate.

    1. Brooke, this commonly held view is counter-intuitive: people don’t want to re-create the tyranny and over-regulation they fled. On the contrary, they know what it looks like and want to create a place where it can never, ever happen again. I know it’s tempting to throw daggers at new Idahoans, blame them, but MANY new Idahoans are far more rabid in their conservative values than many native Idahoans. Not all newcomers are conservative (obviously, and I think there’s truth in saying that transplants from NY may be liberal, while those from CA are almost assuredly constitutional conservatives), but the majority are, and stats prove it. I also point out that native Idaho conservatives can tend toward complacency…happy to speak out online, but not in taking preemptive ACTION to ensure that a Leftist takeover can’t happen in Idaho…ever. I agree with you in wishing more “born and raised in Idaho” would “run for office,” but that doesn’t happen as often as needed, which is not the fault of new Idahoans. We ALL need to contact our reps, speak at the City and State houses!

      1. I agree with Brooke. Look up, why Idahoans have a long standing dislike towards California. The information is obtained on Google. Search Idaho+doesn’t like+California.
        There is a deep seated resentment of California and it’s ilk. I know first hand, I am from California! We’ve been yelled at, and more. Although conservative, etc. Our friends are other Californians. LOL! Locals after 25 years still consider us outsiders. Don’t try to convince this transplant….I know too well.

        1. Sarah, you completely misread my post. I didn’t dispute that Idahoans “have a long standing dislike towards California,” so you don’t have to clue me in on how well you know I’m wrong. What I SAID is that the haters’ reasons are based on a falsehood, a factually incorrect belief. Brooke stated that “Californians ect. flee their home states but want to turn Idaho into a clone of the state they left…” I dispute Brooke’s reason for blaming and hating innocent people because her reason simply isn’t true. It’s a myth. The local news has more than once reported on this unfair myth. So I’d like to THANK the many 10s of 1000s of decent Idahoans who know this isn’t true and don’t feel the need to blame innocent newcomers for liberal trends that are sadly happening everywhere. Sarah, I’m not trying to “convince” you–because “I know too well” that there are many, many native Idahoans who are NOT like Brooke. And I’m grateful for it.

      2. Patriot lass , I would respectfully disagree. I lived in my birth town of coeur d’Alene in the early 90’s and while there I worked as a service tech for a propane company, so you can imagine that I came in contact with a lot of people! Many from Seattle,Portland, California and many other places as well. My experience was most of them thought of us backwoods hillbillies ! Not all but many,There were 2 gentlemen in particular that did not, both were from cali one was a retired LA county sheriff and the other was a fireman from LA . This is why I left got very tired of the influx of narrow minded libturds that Wanted to change my home!

  4. Why Bob so protestors can get violent without any deterrents? There is a reason there has been no rioting in idaho and its precisely because of good citizens exercising their second amendment rights. Leftist sophistry won’t fly here in idaho!

    1. Yes. True. But we can never, never get complacent in thinking it can’t happen here. Even as we speak, they are planning long-range plans.

  5. I personally believe if you weren’t born and raised in Idaho, you should not be allowed to run for any office in the state of Idaho.

    1. You’re wrong about that, Dan. MANY new Idahoans are far more rabid in their conservativism than many native Idahoans….they’ve seen tyranny. They’ve seen how the once-great state that gave us Ronald Reagan now gives us Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris. Not all newcomers are conservative (obviously), but the majority, and stats prove it. I also point out that Idaho conservatives can tend toward complacency…happy to speak out online, but not in taking preemptive ACTION to ensure that a Leftist takeover can’t happen in Idaho…ever. I agree with you in wishing more “born and raised in Idaho” would “run for office,” but that doesn’t happen as often as needed, which is not the fault of new Idahoans. We ALL need to contact our reps, speak at the City and State houses!

    2. The Mayor of Sandpoint, Shelby Rognstadt WAS BORN IN LEWISTON, IDAHO. So much for your petty theory.

  6. It’s time to send Bob back to New York we won’t put up with your s*** here in Idaho I have my right to carry my gun defend myself and my country

  7. Memo to Bob Blakey. The presence of ARMED CITIZENS PREVENTED VIOLENCE in Coeur d’Alene from these morons who celebrate their idol, the convicted FELON killed by Police. Maybe Mr Blakey does not understand the hands of Police are tied because of the media pressure and that of weak socialist politicians. The protesters know the Police will not prevent these pukes from their rioting but the presence of ARMED CITIZENS scare the h-ll out of these people. They want to honor the FELON from MINN who stuck a gun into the stomach of a pregnant woman and threatened to kill and her unborn child while he beat, assaulted and robbed her. He was already a four time convicted FELON for numerous narcotic charges for which he served 4 prison sentences. I say good for these ARMED CITIZENS.

  8. Because we all know it’s the decent, restrained, legally-armed citizens protecting their town that’s the real danger during massive, organized, brutal, vicious, lawless “protests.”

    Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad has his panties in a bunch because 6 out of 10,000 residents (that’s 6/10,000) contacted him about legally-armed town protectors making them feel unsafe. It appears he’d rather have Sandpoint looted, occupied, burned to the ground. Maybe true for Bob Blakey too.

    1. To those who wrote things like “only those born in Idaho should be allowed to hold office”, the Mayor of Sandpoint WAS born in Idaho…Lewiston to be precise.

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