Idaho and West Virginia Join the Constitutional Carry Club
“I appreciate the support and the information [GOA provided]. I look forward to spreading it around to both my colleagues and constituents!” — Constitutional Carry sponsor in West Virginia, Del. Saira Blair (R)
Not a GOA member yet? You can join Gun Owners of America today for only $20!
Bloomberg Loses, as GOA-backed Bills Become Law in Two States
Now there are ten!
Idaho last week became the tenth state to adopt Constitutional Carry, and the second state to adopt such a law this year.
Earlier in the month, West Virginia legislators overrode their Governor’s veto of a GOA-backed permitless carry bill which was sponsored by 19-year-old Del. Saira Blair (R).
Then, Gem State followed suit last Friday.
The victory in Idaho was especially gratifying, as residents ignored the thousands upon thousands of dollars of advertising that Michael Bloomberg was pouring into the state.
Bloomberg bought several ads — encouraging people to call Governor Butch Otter in opposition to Constitutional Carry.
Initially, the calls were running 5-1 against the GOA-backed bill, although it appeared that many of the anti-gun calls were coming from out-of-state.
Gun Owners of America responded by joining the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance (ISSA) in encouraging phone calls into the Governor’s office — and the ratio soon improved to a 50-50 split.
ISAA was a powerful force working inside the state for Constitutional Carry — providing daily alerts and Facebook postings on the bill’s status.
In enacting Constitutional Carry, both West Virginia and Idaho now join other permitless carry states which include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming, and most of Montana. And Mississippi may follow soon.
The West Virginia law takes effect in early June, while Idaho’s goes into force on July 1, 2016.
Help GOA pass Constitutional Carry laws across the country. You can join Gun Owners of America today for only $20!
Grassroots Activism Overcomes Establishment Opposition to Constitutional Carry
As indicated above, getting permitless carry enacted in Idaho was not an easy task this year.
There are three powerful Republican chairmen in the House chamber who did not want permitless carry, and they had successfully blocked this legislation for quite some time.
But GOA and ISAA worked tirelessly to support a clean Constitutional Carry bill that didn’t take away rights from existing citizens as part of a so-called “compromise.”
ISAA sponsored a Constitutional Carry rally last month and invited GOA’s Larry Pratt as a guest speaker to address the crowd in front of the capitol.
Ultimately, it came down to a battle between the Establishment versus the People.
Here’s what Dean Weingarten at The Truth About Guns had to say regarding this epic battle:
Two powerful chairmen and a powerful chairwoman oppose permitless carry in Idaho…. These three representatives control three of the most powerful committees in the Idaho legislature. They can pass bills and stop bills. They can prevent bills from ever seeing the light of day….
If these three Chairs are against you in the Idaho legislature, it does not matter very much who is for you. It takes the overwhelming force of a higher power to overcome the resistance of the massive legislative clout of these Chairs. And that’s exactly what happened.
The overwhelming force was the force of the voters in Idaho, organized by the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance. At a recent rally, a thousand pro-Constitutional Carry demonstrators showed up at the Idaho capitol.
This is why groups like GOA and ISAA exist — it’s to put heat on intransigent legislators.
We are here to remind the representatives of the people that they’re being watched and that they must uphold their oath of office — or else suffer the consequences.
The loud voice of the grassroots has made a tremendous difference in recent years — in defeating gun control at the national level and passing Constitutional Carry across the country.
Please continue to stand with Gun Owners of America, as we work to repeal even more restrictions on your right to keep and bear arms.