On Monday, more than 60 volunteers with the Idaho chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, made their way to the statehouse to urge lawmakers to oppose risky proposals that would force Idaho K-12 schools to allow civilians to carry guns into elementary, middle, and high schools. Volunteers from as far as Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, and across the state drove hours to meet with lawmakers and encourage them to instead focus on common-sense solutions to keep Idaho children safe at school. During the day, volunteers held nearly 40 meetings with legislators.
Public News Service reported:
“Jennifer Lingle is one of the Idaho chapter leads of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She said a similar bill didn’t make it out of committee in 2019 because of public opposition.
‘Volunteers showed up in large numbers for committee hearings where the proposed legislation was being discussed to speak out on why this is not good for Idaho children, why it’s very risky and it’s not backed up by any sort of evidence that it makes schools safer,’ Lingle said.”
In 2019, proposed legislation to force Idaho schools to allow guns on school grounds failed after significant opposition from the public, including the Idaho Sheriffs Association and the Idaho Chiefs of Police who issued a joint statement condemning the proposal. Research suggests that allowing more firearms on school grounds could be a serious risk to safety. Legislation to allow guns in schools is sold as a way to keep children safe, but in reality, it does just the opposite and puts children at risk of unintentional shootings and escalating conflict without decreasing the risk of an active shooter. That’s why teachers and school safety experts oppose these proposals.
Here are some photos from the Idaho Chapter’s Advocacy day:
More information about the risks of guns in schools is available here. Statistics about gun violence in Idaho are available here, and information on how Idaho’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with volunteers with Idaho Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action or survivors of gun violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out.