Study identification among states with weakest gun safety laws / Public News Service
A new report ranks Idaho near the bottom among states for its gun safety laws.
The Everytown for Gun Safety organization ranks Idaho 49th in the strength of its gun laws. Of the 50 gun-related policies the group investigated, he said the state only had four policies in place and Idaho’s rate of gun violence was higher than the national average.
Jacqui Hamilton, co-lead of the state volunteer chapter for Moms Demand Action Idaho, which is associated with Everytown for Gun Safety, believes the Gem State can do better to protect people from gun violence.
“It’s disheartening,” Hamilton said. “I grew up here, I grew up in Idaho; we moved here when I was 13 in 1982. My family hunted. We have guns in our house, but we also practice safety .”
The report notes that Idaho has the fourth highest rate of gun ownership in the nation, as well as the fourth highest rate of gun suicides. Groups supporting the use and possession of firearms have argued that laws restricting access violate Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
Hamilton countered that there were laws on the books in other states that Idaho lawmakers could pass to promote gun safety.
“We would like to see universal background checks on every gun sale,” Hamilton said. “Right now, there are loopholes. We’d like to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, like convicted domestic abusers.”
She also pointed to a shooting at the Boise Towne Square mall last year that killed two people. The shooter had been convicted of theft in Illinois, but that did not prevent him from having a firearm under Idaho state law.
Idaho ranks above only Mississippi in the Everytown for Gun Safety report. The group identified California as first for the strength of its gun safety laws.
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