New bill could allow anyone to conceal carry in Idaho schools, with a proper license

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BOISE — A local legislator wants anyone with an enhanced concealed carry permit to be able to carry firearms in Idaho schools.

Freshman Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Idaho Falls, said his bill could help prevent Idaho schools from becoming targets. If passed, the bill would require an Idaho enhanced concealed carry permit for anyone to carry a firearm into a school. It would also prohibit school administrators from disciplining faculty who choose to carry a firearm.

“I’ve always been worried about our schools being soft targets,” Christensen told EastIdahoNews.com. “(The bill) would allow teachers, parents, administration and anyone with that permit to carry in schools.”

Chad Christensen

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The state offers two types of concealed carry licenses: the standard and the enhanced.

Idaho law requires some form of firearms training to obtain the standard license to carry a concealed weapon. That training could include a hunter education course, National Rifle Association safety training or firearm safety training provided by law enforcement.

The enhanced license requires an eight-hour hands-on class that includes training on gun safety, self-defense principles and live fire training. The trainer must be certified by the NRA or law enforcement.

The proposed bill does not require firearm carriers to tell anyone they are carrying a firearm except law enforcement during an active investigation.

It does require the carrier to keep the firearm on their person at all times. Meaning, it can’t be kept in a purse, bag, desk or anywhere other than the carrier’s body, while in the school.

Shelley School District Superintendent Bryan Jolley said his main concern with people being allowed to carry firearms in schools is the liability.

“That liability portion of having people carrying and not being authorized (by a district official) — what if something does happen, where does that leave the (school) district?” Jolley said.

Despite that concern, Jolley said he is in favor of allowing teachers to be armed.

“We trust our teachers with our kids anyway, every day,” Jolley said. “My personal feeling is they ought to be equipped to do the job they need to do to be able to keep these kids safe. I want people trained, and I want people willing to accept that kind of responsibility.”

Christensen said he would ask sheriffs to train teachers and staff. He said he wants the sheriffs to provide training on possible scenarios and what they need to do to protect students.

“The biggest concern is the safety of people’s children,” he said. “That’s my biggest concern.”

Utah has had a similar law, allowing people with valid permits to conceal carry within schools, for more than 10 years.

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