Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said today that he will work informally with Idaho Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill and House Speaker Scott Bedke during the balance of 2013 on developing proposals for the next legislative session to strengthen Idahoans' Second Amendment protections.
"Some ideas percolated in the Legislature this year but never got fully vetted. We'll look at those as well as model legislation and what's been tried in other states. And we'll do it in the context of the ongoing assessment of security needs at our public schools," Governor Otter said. "The goal is not just to be prepared for any federal attempts to limit gun rights, but also to take the lead nationally in keeping with Idaho's strong support for the Second Amendment and our well-known independent streak."
The Governor praised the measured, responsible approach taken by leaders in both chambers as rhetoric heated up surrounding gun control efforts launched by the Obama administration and some congressional Democrats.
"The extent and nature of federal attempts to restrict our access to arms and ammunition are still coming into focus, so we will join the Governor in watching that process carefully while charting our own course forward," Speaker Bedke said. "The debate here is not about whether we have the right to keep and bear arms, but how best to craft public policy that further protects law-abiding citizens while shielding the public from the small minority who would use guns irresponsibly."
"Here in Idaho, we know that responsible gun ownership is more than compatible with public safety and security -- it's an integral part of it," President Pro Tem Hill said. "Our job is to ensure the right safeguards are in place to protect our constitutional rights as well as our families, homes and property."