Do we really want to allow open carry of any deadly weapon anywhere, as in the Legislature’s House Bill 301? Should you be permitted to carry an assault rifle into a bank as long as you say you don’t intend to use it? If two persons openly carrying guns get into a serious argument about something, each one will start worrying about the other’s intentions, and soon the only question will be who shoots first. How often do we want deadly shootouts?
This bill would also allow carrying a concealed weapon outside cities without a permit. That means no background check of the person’s history or whether state or federal law prohibits him from having a gun. This puts in danger other hunters, hikers, law enforcement officials, and Fish and Game officials.
We don’t have to allow this. The right to bear arms doesn’t go that far. The Supreme Court has said in two recent decisions that restrictions on who can have a gun, or where, or when, are presumed to be constitutional. Only total prohibitions are unconstitutional.
John Tanner, Idaho Falls
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