Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke put a temporary hold on a bill that would double the cost of obtaining a concealed carry permit during Thursday’s legislative business.
Bedke told IdahoReporter.com Thursday that the measure, brought to the Capitol by the Idaho Sheriff’s Association, had not been thoroughly vetted before introduction.
“There’s been some concern expressed about that,” Bedke said Thursday after a closed-door Republican caucus meeting.
Bedke, under fire from pro-gun advocates for stalling a constitutional carry weapons bill, said the fee measure wasn’t examined by an ad hoc committee that works out legislative differences on firearms issues before introduction.
That group includes Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, and Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, among others.
The fee increase bill would have doubled the base amount counties can collect to issue permits, jumping from $20 to $40. That’s in addition to extra fees counties can charge to cover fingerprinting and background checks.
Bedke didn’t offer any timeframe for the vetting process.
The fee hike bill is something of a uniting force in the Idaho Capitol. Two different factions have emerged as the Legislature debates how to forward gun rights in the state. One faction, led by the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, supports a separate bill to bring constitutional carry to the Gem State.
A second faction, led by Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, wants legislation to bring constitutional carry to unincorporated parts of Idaho.
Constitutional carry essentially means the ability to tote firearms without a concealed carry permit.
Though they’re at odds with one another, Hagedorn and Pruett agree the association’s bill shouldn’t move forward.
“At a time when we should be removing taxes and infringements on our Second Amendment, we now have a bill to make it worse?” Pruett questioned. “Our priorities are messed up if this is the direction anyone thinks Idaho should go.”
Hagedorn said he’s no fan of the plan and gave it a literal thumbs down in an interview with IdahoReporter.com.
“I think they have enough to cover their costs, plus they have enough to cover the background checks,” Hagedorn said. “They’ve got to be able to justify that increase.”
If there’s a good reason for the hike, the senator said, “I haven’t heard it.”
The senator flatly denied the fee hike measure had anything to do with the competing constitutional carry bills awaiting committee hearings.
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