Idaho Legislature – Grandfather and an 11 Year Old Girl With a Loaded AR-15
Guns in and around the Idaho legislature are a relatively common sight. Some of the members carry concealed, and often people who come to the sessions are carrying either concealed or open – and ARs are also common in open carry. So when Bailey Nielsen came to a legislative hearing with her loaded AR-15 on Monday, it was no big deal. Except for the media, of course. KMVT
Bailey’s Grandfather, Charles Nielsen, came to testify for a bill that would allow out of state visitors the right to carry concealed weapons inside the city limits. Idaho already allows state residents to do so without a permit. The bill expands the concealed carry rule to out-of-state visitors who have the legal right to carry in their state – concealed carry holders and military members.
Charles Nielsen spoke to the legislature, Bailey did not. None of the legislators had any reaction to her presence in the chamber, and no one asked any questions. Maybe because… firearms are normal in Idaho. Backers of the bill say that it will allow out of state residents the ability to defend themselves if necessary.
“Bailey is carrying a loaded AR-15. People live in fear, terrified of that which they do not understand. She’s been shooting since she was 5 years old. She got her first deer with this weapon at 9. She carries it responsibly. She knows how not to put her finger on the trigger. We live in fear in a society that is fed fear on a daily basis…When they come to Idaho, they should be able to carry concealed, because they carry responsibly. They’re law-abiding citizens. It’s the criminal we have to worry about.” Charles Nielsen
The bill, introduced by Republican Christy Zito, is opposed by three Democrats in the House. But the committee meeting Bailey and Charles attended did vote to send the bill to the full House.
The media almost had apoplexy at the sight of an 11 year old girl with a loaded AR-15 slung over her shoulder. All of the mainstream coverage called it an “assault weapon.” No, morons, it’s an Armalite Rifle, the most commonly owned rifle in the United States.
How did 11 year old Bailey get away with carrying a loaded weapon openly? Perhaps Mr. Nielsen used a bit of theatrics to make his point, but those of us who grew up in Idaho had weapons around us all the time. We learned to shoot at young ages. We weren’t afraid of guns. The people we need to worry about aren’t the ones that have grandfathers or fathers like Bailey, it’s the criminals, as Mr. Nielsen explained.
Opponents of the bill say it’s a bad idea to allow “teenagers” to carry concealed without training or a permit. But Idaho law says state residents 18 and over can do so. What’s the difference between legal out of state visitors carrying and state residents? Not much.
Featured photo: Screenshot via KMVT of Photo by Keith Ridler/AP