2024 Firearm Legislation in Idaho (1/26/24 – Update)

Note: For a short synopsis and an easy to find “Support,” “Neutral,” or “Oppose” stance for all firearm related legislation, click here.

The 2024 legislative session is underway, and we have a short time to try and get as many pro-2nd Amendment bills through as possible.

During this session, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance is working hard on expanding Stand-Your-Ground and trying to tackle restoring Idaho’s firearm preemption which was gutted by the Idaho Supreme Court in June 2023.

State Sen. Brian Lenney is helping gun owners in Idaho work to expand Stand-Your-Ground to include “criminal immunity.

The goal of the legislation is to help Idahoans avoid being politically prosecuted like Kyle-Rittenhouse or the McCloskey’s in Missouri.

Here are several key aspects of the legislation:

  1. Someone arrested and charged for defending themselves can invoke a pre-trial hearing, demanding to know what evidence the government has to keep you in containment. If the evidence is there, then the process moves on. However, if evidence does not exist, the government can’t hold you indefinitely, as they can now.
  2. If a prosecutor moves forward with a trial, and you are found to be not guilty by reason of “self-defense” by a jury of your peers, the judge has the ability to award attorney’s fees. That’s a provision that even the state of Washington has in their law!

Bill Status: This legislation is drafted and has been “RSd,” which means that it is awaiting an introductory hearing.

State Senator Scott Herndon (Republican – Sandpoint) is working on a fix to the firearm preemption law.

This issue is going to be more complex for the legislature to tackle, though we believe the fix is easy.

We got in this situation because the Idaho Supreme Court has opined that it is okay for private organizations to ban guns on public property, even though the law prohibits cities and counties from doing the same. Cities and counties are somehow authorized to give authority to private organizations/people to ban guns, when they themselves cannot do it?

One big step, that we believe all of us can get on board with, is providing immunity for cities, counties, and private organizations (especially the insurance companies) who allow firearms to be carried in public spaces.

One of the biggest concerns for these entities is being sued because firearms are carried in those public spaces. Well, if we give them immunity for a gun owner carrying and using their firearm properly, it should alleviate a major concern they have.

There are other aspects to the legislation that the ISAA continues to discuss with the bill sponsor and others involved in the legislative process.

Bill Status: Still being drafted, but hopefully being released soon.

There are other pieces of legislation coming forward or that have already been moving through the capitol as well.

Sen. Dan Foreman (Republican – Viola) has proposed SB 1228, which would remove the ability of public colleges and universities from regulating concealed weapons on college campuses.

Foreman has been fighting for years to change Idaho’s code for Campus Carry. We are in complete support of this legislation.

The bureaucrats on college campus shouldn’t be able to regulate your right to self-defense on public property.

Sen. Foreman has another bill (SB 1140) which would eliminate an antiquated and unconstitutional anti-militia bill.

The law is currently being used by gun grabbers to try and target gun owners here in Idaho. We are in full support of this legislation as well.

Foreman tried to pass this bill last year but it stalled in committee.

Sen. Tammy Nichols (Republican – Middleton) is working on a bill that would give Idahoans an option to get a Gadsden flag license plate.

Proceeds from the sale of the license plate would be diverted to a firearm training and education fund that was created several years ago in the legislature.

While this isn’t a direct 2nd Amendment issue, we believe this is a good bill that can hopefully help fund firearm training and education for our youth, rather than them being fed constant communist propaganda.

Rep. Ted Hill (Republican – Eagle) has proposed HB 415.

The bill would allow any employee contracted with the school be carry a concealed weapon on school grounds. The individual would have to have an Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit.

The firearm has to be in their direct control.

Individuals who do decide to utilize this law have to notify the school Principal if they are going to carry. They do NOT have to notify the school board.

We are in support of this legislation but believe it could be much better.

Other legislation we have heard rumors on, or have discussed with lawmakers who are proposing them, would update last year’s defensive carry bill and another to update Idaho’s Second Amendment Preservation Act.