Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: Firearms at Idaho’s Capitol Building

By • June 9, 2022

The following Op-Ed was submitted by Christy Zito. Note: Op-eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch. Additionally, Zito works for the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, for which Idaho Dispatch Editor serves as the President.

Recently, I read a news story where Idaho legislator Senator Melissa Wintrow (Democrat) was calling for the state capital to be a “gun-free” zone.

I find this not only ridiculous but quite insulting. I served in Idaho’s capitol building as a legislator for six years. I have never felt threatened or unsafe.

When I ran for office and was elected to my first term, my predecessor had just voted against the Constitutional Carry bill (2016) that ultimately passed and became law. His reasoning was that with everyone carrying a gun, there would be blood in the streets. He also stated on more than one occasion that he could “guarantee” that there would be a shooting at the capital. This has not happened.

I would estimate that 90% of Idaho legislators are armed all the time, including our female legislators. I would also estimate that many of the legislative advisors and lobbyists are also armed.

Having that many people armed and ready as our first line of defense is a good reason to feel safe at all times in the People’s House.

I want to stress that I have never felt threatened or in danger by the visitors to the capital, even by those whom I have strong disagreements with. I felt safe even before the last two years when there was often more law enforcement in the building than citizens.

I have felt great sadness over the fact that the bustling and noisy hallways during the legislative session are now comparatively quiet compared to past legislative sessions. I find it an insult to the people that the citizen engagement that was present during my first two terms in office has been discouraged to that point.

I have traveled to other state capitols and our nation’s capitol to find that one must pass armed guards and metal detectors to enter the building. Even the elected officials entering the building had to go through the same security measures.

To be able to enter our State House and carry your weapon open or concealed, handgun, long rifle, or any weapon of your choice, has been a mark of honor for our state. Idaho is purported to be the reddest state in the nation. The fact that our capitol building is open is a testament to that notion. The fact that legislators may cave to the left and their “feelings” is a testament to where we are going.

If the Second Amendment is important, you better know what is happening in your own backyard. The issues facing us nationally are important as well; just know to spread your focus. Don’t let your guard down on any level.

This is a battle for the heart, soul, and freedom of this state and country.

Christy Zito
Political Director
Idaho Second Amendment Alliance

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Tags: 2nd Amendment, Christy Zito, Gun-Free Zone, Idaho Capitol Building, Melissa Wintrow

24 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Firearms at Idaho’s Capitol Building

  1. I am actually working on a re-write of Title 18 Chapter 33 (Firearms) of the Idaho Statutes. I am asking others for help on some social media I’m on to figure out which viewpoints are better supported. Once I am satisfied with the overall proposal, I hope to get as many people as I can from Idaho to join me in sending it to our legislatures and demanding they review it, make any necessary changes for it presentable in a vote, then vote on and pass it.

    Hearing that a past legislature is likely to agree with what I am writing gives me a lot of hope that what I am doing is not a waste of time. This article also mentions “Idaho second amendment alliance”. I think I will look into them now!

    1. The author stated her position on firearms carry quite clearly. What is yours? Support her position or oppose? I for one, support.

  2. 5 reasons you need an AR-15:
    1. You
    2. Don’t
    3. Need
    4. A
    5. Reason
    It’s in the Bill of Rights not the Bill of Needs.

    1. I have one anyway. Because I like it. Just like you have that electric car that you don’t need either.

  3. As an elderly person living in Owyhee County I feel it is a necessity. My right to keep myself armed has never seemed more important. We live in troubled times. The one thing that helps me sleep at night is knowing I can and will protect myself. My NRA stickers are right on the front door.


  5. I hope that Idaho stays strong and does not get swallowed up by the west coast three, Idaho is what America once was and by the grace of God I hope to return to my home state.

  6. I did not realize this, but way to go Idaho. 2 things come to mind always see the spineless show up to a gun free zone.
    If it is so easy for social media to red flag everything they dislike then why are we not talking about this on the shooting rampages that have taken place. Or are the democrats trying to facilitate the despicable agenda to divide and conquer.

  7. Fully agreed…
    Quick question, does Idaho have laws on the books to protect against a government overreach red flag law ? Red Flag Law is the Trojan to disarm those whom disagree with tyrant control.

  8. Thank you Christy! I also find it insulting…. I recommend anti gun Senator Melissa Wintrow move from this fine state of Idaho. She should relocate to Chicago, Illinois were they have some of the stricted laws on gun control. She should feel safe there….

  9. Thank you Christy for all you have done to help protect our right to protect ourselves and our families.
    I have been to the Capital many times and have seen many people carry. It
    is good to see. Nothing to fear while being there. Everyone is polite and friendly.
    I like you professionalism and passion for our freedoms and rights. We know
    those that oppose those freedoms and rights and pray their eye’s, ears, and
    hearts open to what has been American’s cherished gifts.

  10. Totally agree with Ms. Zito. But Tyler Egan sounds too much like a politician (searching for viewpoints instead of obvious facts). The one comment with which I totally disagree was from The Mama, and I see that her post is no longer on the site ( good idea).
    Cynthia – you’re thought is spot on but this isn’t the venue to tackle that issue.
    The remainder of these comments are accurate and appropriate, and I agree.

  11. It seems that Melissa Wintrow has taken up Republican Greg Chaney’s mantra.
    She doesn’t drive an electric car but has a Mustang convertible? Check out her photos visiting her constituents.

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