- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Senate State Affairs Committee has introduced a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons outside city limits in Idaho without a permit.

Republican Sen. Marv Hagedorn from Meridian told the panel Friday that his bill would also remove a rule that lets state legislators carry concealed guns without a permit.

Currently, Idahoans are allowed to hunt or fish without a concealed weapons permit.

The bill comes one week after the House State Affairs Committee introduced a similar plan with a broader scope. That proposal would allow any law abiding citizen to carry a concealed weapon, but no hearing has been scheduled.

Greg Pruett from the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance said the House bill had been stalled so that Chairman Rep. Thomas Loertscher could compare the dueling bills.

The Senate bill also includes several other minor changes to the current code, including allowing concealed carry of an unloaded weapon in a vehicle outside city limits.

“You can carry permitless outside city limits, but when you get in your vehicle, put the gun on the seat, then you put your backpack over it, it becomes concealed,” Hagedorn said.

Some lawmakers on the panel asked whether the Senate bill would limit property owners’ rights to restrict guns on their property. Hagedorn told them it wouldn’t.

Idaho currently allows someone without a permit to carry a gun in the open.

Hagedorn said he has worked with the National Rifle Association and some law enforcement, including the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association, on developing the bill.

Although the committee decided to introduce the bill, the vote was not enthusiastic. Only two yes votes were heard in the voice vote. No one voted no.

“The ayes weakly have it,” said Sen. Curt McKenzie, who chairs the committee, amid some chuckles.

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