Friday, October 22, 2021

Guns aren't going anywhere in Idaho

| March 19, 2021 1:00 AM

Idaho is well-known for its mountains, forests, lakes and guns.

Recent data suggests Idaho has the third highest percentage of gun ownership (56.9 percent) in the nation, trailing only Alaska (61.7 percent) and Arkansas (57.9).

By comparison, Delaware — The First State — boasts just 5.2 percent gun ownership.

Any expression supporting the Second Amendment in the Gem State is bound to be met with a standing ovation, if not a 20,000-gun salute. The people who live here, whether they own guns or not, understand how important that right is to Idahoans. If not, here’s a quick reminder.

Since July 1, 2019, state law allows citizens 18 and older to carry a concealed firearm statewide without a permit. Open carry is legal within city limits, and permitless carry is legal outside city limits.

In other words, three years before you can legally take a swig of beer, you can pack heat that even law enforcement can’t detect. Show us a state with gun laws that strong and we’ll show you one that puts the Second Amendment first.

We’ll show you Idaho.

This week, County Commissioner Leslie Duncan joined other elected officials around the country who want to formalize status as a Second Amendment Sanctuary. Duncan’s proposal is intended to supersede any state or federal gun laws that appear to violate the Second Amendment.

The other two commissioners, both ardent Second Amendment supporters and gun owners, do not agree with Duncan or the roughly 270 counties that have claimed to be Second Amendment Sanctuaries. Chris Fillios and Bill Brooks understand the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the order with which layers of law are given force. They understand that no matter what sanctuary label you apply, state and county elected bodies can’t nullify federal laws just because they disagree with them or their interpretation of them.

While it's easy to respect new Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris’s line-in-the-sand stance against anybody trying to take away residents’ guns, citizen fears of gun seizure are not based in logic. Because more than half of Idaho’s population is locked and loaded, gun confiscators would be a hell of a lot smarter to pick on Delaware.

Just a suggestion, but how about we focus on real issues, like runaway growth, the health of local people and their lake?