Bonner County Sheriff supports 'constitutional carry' bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Bonner County Sheriff supports 'constitutional carry' bill

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Recently, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler came out in support of HB 89 saying it puts the state in line with the U.S. Constitution. Recently, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler came out in support of HB 89 saying it puts the state in line with the U.S. Constitution.
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

On February 5, members of the Idaho State House Affairs Committee introduced House Bill 89, commonly referred to as the "Constitutional Carry" bill. Ultimately, the language of the bill states that gun owners would no longer need a concealed carry permit in order to carry concealed weapons.

The bill was met with opposition in eastern Idaho from various members of law enforcement who say the bill would make it harder for officers and deputies to do their jobs. Recently, however, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler came out in support of the bill saying it puts the state in line with the U.S. Constitution.

"The right to bear arms is already in the constitution and I think it makes it consistent with our federal statutes," says Wheeler.

On average, the Bonner County Sheriff's office sees roughly 700 people per year come in to apply for concealed carry permits. Of those 700 people, Wheeler says not even five percent of them are denied.

"If you're a criminal you're not going to go and follow through and get a concealed weapons permit," says Wheeler. "If you're going to commit a crime then you're just going to commit a crime."

When KHQ asked Wheeler about the concerns of other law enforcement agencies across the state about the bill, Wheeler said it wouldn't affect day-to-day operations.

"Any stop we initiate, we ask if they have a weapon," says Wheeler. "Somebody having a concealed weapons permit is not going to prohibit or change our tactics. And if they aren't suppose to have that weapon, we'll find out when we run them through our computers."

The bill was recently tabled by the House Affairs Committee. Supporters wanted to clarify if the bill passes, how it would affect Idaho's agreement with other states when accepting concealed carry permits.

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