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House Bill 415 — Concealed weapons, school property

House Bill 415 — Concealed weapons, school property

Parrish Miller
January 23, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 415 would allow public school employees who possess an enhanced carry permit to carry a concealed weapon on school property where they are employed. 

Rating: +2

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

House Bill 415 would amend Section 18-3302C, Idaho Code, which deals with prohibited conduct while carrying a concealed weapon. Currently, possessing a concealed weapon on school grounds is broadly prohibited, with the only exception being for those who are specifically authorized "to carry a firearm with the permission of the board of trustees of the school district or the governing board."

House Bill 415 would create an additional exception for employees "who possesses an enhanced license to carry concealed weapons issued pursuant to section 18-3302K, Idaho Code," who could carry even without permission from a board. 

To carry under this provision, the employee would be required to keep the weapon concealed, maintain "immediate control over the firearm or deadly weapon while on school property" (this would effectively prevent someone from carrying the weapon in a briefcase or purse), and provide the principal of the school and superintendent of the school district with a copy of the employee's enhanced license. 

Under this bill, schools would be required to inform local law enforcement of any employees whose enhanced carry permits are on file, but schools would otherwise be required to keep the employee's decision to carry confidential. 

The bill would also clarify that the decision to carry would not obligate an employee to use his weapon to intervene "during a life-threatening incident inside of a school or on school property," noting that such a choice "lies solely within the school employee and is a personal decision."

The bill would explicitly exclude private schools from the provisions of this expanded right to carry, stating that it does not "limit the right of an owner of private property, including a private school, from permitting or prohibiting the carrying of a concealed firearm or other deadly weapon on his property."

This bill is a step in the right direction toward more fully embracing the inalienable natural right of all individuals to keep and bear arms, as recognized by the U.S. Constitution. But it is a very limited expansion of the right that continues to deprive other adults — such as parents — of their right to protect themselves and their children when on school property.


Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?

House Bill 415 includes a subsection that would forbid public schools from displaying "any signage whatsoever indicating that school property is a gun-free zone" and imposes a $300 fine for any violation of this subsection. County prosecuting attorneys would be tasked with enforcement. 

The claim that Idaho's public schools are "gun-free zones" would officially cease to be true with the passage of House Bill 415. Requiring public schools to cease advertising this open invitation to violent criminals would increase government honesty and should serve as a warning that we are now protecting our students in the same manner we have long protected other people and things we regard as valuable. 


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