Idaho House Bill 415 successfully passes house, permitting educators to carry concealed weapons at school, advances to senate following contentious deliberation

ai express – In the 2024 Idaho Legislative Session, House Bill 415 was passed with a vote of 53 in favor and 16 against, with one absent, after a heated debate among local lawmakers. This bill allows teachers to carry guns at school, provided they have a current enhanced concealed carry permit.

According to Rep. Ted Hill, (R-Eagle), he introduced the bill due to the vulnerability of schools as “soft targets” for active shooter scenarios. He highlights factors such as the presence of plaques indicating that the campus is a gun-free zone, as well as the lack of armed school district employees.

According to Hill, HB 415 aims to bridge the time gap between the onset of a shooting and the arrival of law enforcement at schools. He points out the alarming number of school shootings that have occurred in our country in recent times.

According to Hill, school shootings are one of the most shocking and alarming events happening in America today. The perpetrators of these acts of violence often target schools because they are considered vulnerable and easy targets. Hill emphasized the devastating nature of these incidents, acknowledging the horror and awfulness associated with them. He also highlighted that while the primary aim may not always be to harm students directly, the attackers choose schools as their victims due to their perceived vulnerability.

According to Rep. Jack Nelsen, a Republican from Jerome, he expressed his support for the underlying concept of HB 415. However, he also highlighted his concern that this legislation could potentially restrict the ability of local schools, such as Dietrich, to make decisions based on what they believe is most effective in the case of an active shooter emergency.

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“I really appreciate the intention behind the bill and acknowledge the need for it. However, I do have some reservations about its effectiveness. As a matter of fact, I have shared the comprehensive gun policy implemented by Dietrich’s Schools with all of you. This policy goes above and beyond what is proposed in this bill. My concern is that by passing this bill, we would be limiting the options available to these educational institutions. Perhaps, those of you in downtown Meridian may not fully understand the challenges faced by rural districts like Dietrich. For those who are unfamiliar with its location, Dietrich is approximately 12 to 15 miles east of Sun Valley and Shoshone. It is crucial to recognize that many rural districts, regardless of their specific locations, are situated at least 15 to 20 minutes away from law enforcement.”

According to Nelson, he disagreed with the bill because he believed that what may be effective for Dietrich may not necessarily work for Jerome. He expressed his concern about the bill taking away the local control that school districts have in their relationship with their local law enforcement agencies.

A total of 16 representatives, including Reps. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, and Greg Lanting, R-Twin Falls, voted against HB 416.

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