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There are at least 180 firearms and ammunition makers in Idaho, and the state is looking for more.After all: Idaho is a gun-friendly state. Why not encourage gun manufacturers to come in and set up shop?

Concealed Carry Without A Permit Moves Through The Idaho Legislature

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Idaho lawmakers passed a bill Monday to allow people 21 years old and up to carry concealed, loaded guns without permits or training.

Currently, Idaho allows people to carry a gun openly without a permit. A majority of the 22 people who testified were in favor of the bill.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones testified against the bill Monday.

Bones told lawmakers he is a supporter of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He also supports the current concealed carry system.

“However, I remain with some strong concerns in the way the bill is written now and the unintended effects it might have on an officer’s ability to do their job and some of the safety issues,” said Bones.

Bones says under the current system, those wanting a concealed permit get a background check, to see if they are convicted felons, drug addicts or mentally ill. He says without that check, there’s no way for an officer to know if the person carrying the gun is doing so legally.

But many of those speaking in front of the Senate State Affairs Committee favored the bill.

Fred Woodbridge is an American citizen who grew up in Nigeria. He said he lived through the overthrow of many governments which he attributes, in part, to people not being able to carry guns. He said only the military, the rich and criminals were armed.

He says the U.S., with its 2nd Amendment, is a beacon of freedom.

“That freedom largely comes from an armed populace that can decide its own governance, but more, can back up that decision with force of arms if necessary,” said Woodbridge.

Woodbridge says the ability to carry a gun should not be based on whether you can afford to pay for a permit.

The bill moves next to the Idaho Senate.

If approved, Idaho would join a small handful of states that don't require concealed carry permits.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

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