BOISE, Idaho — Today, lawmakers heard from dozens of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers who called for action and held a rally on the steps of the Capitol for gun safety during their annual advocacy day. This year’s advocacy day coincides with the celebration of 10 years of Moms Demand Action’s life-saving work to protect our families and communities from gun violence.
“We are gathering at the State Capitol because Idaho families deserve to be safe from senseless acts of gun violence,” said Andrew Rose, a gun violence Survivor and volunteer with the Idaho chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Communities across our state continue to be haunted by gun violence and we shouldn’t wait for the next tragedy to strike before taking action – the time for change is now.”
Last legislative session, thanks to the advocacy from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers, the Idaho Legislature adjourned without passing any dangerous gun lobby priorities. The bills that were moving through the legislative session included measures to encourage armed intimidation and the open carrying of firearms in Idaho by allowing individuals to form a militia and openly parade in public with a firearm; in addition to legislation to expand the state’s dangerous Shoot First legislation; and policies to create a criminal penalty for local officials who enforce gun safety laws.
This year, gun safety advocates are urging lawmakers to continue rejecting harmful legislation to weaken gun laws and push proactive bills to address the gun violence epidemic in the state with measures such as extreme risk and secure storage laws. Yet we have already seen dangerous measures like S1008 that would eliminate the authority of public universities and community colleges to put reasonable restrictions on where guns are allowed on campus. As guns continue to be the number one cause of death for college-aged people in the U.S. and campuses across the country continue to grapple with several shootings this year alone, lawmakers must defeat this measure, and shift efforts to concrete life-saving legislation.
Gun violence costs Idaho $3.7 billion per year, including $30.5 million paid by taxpayers. Statistics about gun violence in Idaho are available here. Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here. To request an interview with a volunteer from Idaho Moms Demand Action, please reach out to [email protected].