Local legislator plans to reintroduce bill allowing concealed carry in schools
BOISE — Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, has several bills he hopes to co-sponsor or put forward this legislative session. Among them are abortion abolition, distracted driving and others.
But the one he is most looking forward to is his school safety bill that would allow concealed carry in schools.
“I think it’s pretty important to protect our children,” Christensen told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s inevitable that if we don’t, we’re going to have some issues in Idaho too. It’s going to happen eventually. My whole goal is to keep our kids safe.”
Christensen entered a similar bill in the 2019 legislative session, but it didn’t make it out of the House State Affairs committee. The bill would have allowed those with an enhanced concealed carry permit to conceal carry a firearm on school property.
The bill Christensen plans to put forward this session is different in that it requires school staff who wish to carry a firearm to inform the principal or vice-principal that they have an enhanced concealed carry permit.
Christensen said he has spoken to state Senate leaders to gain support for the bill.
“The majority leader, Chuck Winder … said he’s in favor of it and is trying to get the rest of the Senate leadership on board,” Christensen said.
Christensen also plans to co-sponsor a bill that would abolish abortion entirely in Idaho. However, if that fails as it did in the 2019 session, he and Rep. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, will put forward an abortion bill that would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected.
“I prefer banning abortion completely, of course, but it didn’t go anywhere last year,” he said.
Several other states have passed similar legislation, including Missouri, Georgia and Ohio.
Cell phone use
House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, has introduced legislation that, if passed, would prevent local governments from creating laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. It would also repeal any current laws like the Idaho Falls Hands-Free law.
Christensen said he has a similar bill he plans to bring forward.
“We’ve talked, Chairman Palmer and I, and we don’t really care whose bill goes forward as long as whatever bill is the better one — if his succeeds or mine does we don’t really care which one does,” Christensen said.
Christensen said he hopes to unify distracted driving laws across the state.
“The laws around the state are confusing, and people don’t know if their entering into or are in a cell-phone ban jurisdiction,” he said.
Christensen has several other bills he is working on. Some of them include anti-sanctuary city legislation, making it illegal for sex offenders to be near daycares, no longer requiring cities to keep two years’ worth of security footage and moving the welfare fraud unit under the jurisdiction of the Idaho State Police.