Trump's Gun Speech Stirs Anger In Traditional Idaho Allies

Aug 6, 2019

Gun rights supporters march to the Idaho Capitol in Boise during a rally in September, 2018. Some Idaho gun activists feel betrayed by President Donald Trump's recent support for some firearms restrictions.
Credit Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

President Trump is drawing criticism from activists who are normally his staunchest allies, including here in Idaho, for his controversial response to recent shootings that left more than 30 people dead.

The shootings occurred in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend. In response, the president gave a speech Monday in which he endorsed so-called Red Flag laws. Those allow a judge to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

For some, this felt like a betrayal from a president who campaigned on protecting gun rights.


Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett immediately took to Facebook to condemn the speech. He predicted that if Trump were to sign a red flag law, he would lose reelection.


“We are going to do everything we can to stop President Trump and Senate Republicans from ever implementing this,” he said.


Others, though, said it’s clear legislation is necessary to keep guns away from those who pose a danger to the public.


Representative Melissa Wintrow, a Boise Democrat, grew up near Dayton and said she is sick of inaction after mass shootings. She sees legislation like Red Flag laws as necessary to balance Idaho’s ever-loosening gun statutes.


“If we’re going to continue to loosen restrictions, we have to have a complete conversation on really identifying the folks we don’t want to have a firearm,” she said.


Members of Idaho’s Congressional delegation did not immediately weigh in on the issue.


Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter @HDruzin


Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio