is this legal?
No, it is not.
NavyLT wrote:Any explanation to go with this answer, to help us understand the reasoning?No, it is not.
My take would be "no" as well, because there is an executive order signed by Phil Batt back in 1996, replaced by a couple others that say basically the same thing, with the most recent in 2004 that restricts weapons in the designated "Capital Mall Area" (which includes the Capital Building). I have looked and asked around, but haven't found an answer as to whether this has been rescinded or superceded by later legislation.
The most recent executive order can be seen at the following link:
I guess I don't want to be the one to get arrested to test it either...
Yes, I was referring to the Executive Order. HOWEVER, on second thought, I might change my answer to Yes, it is legal, however firearms are prohibited. Does the executive order make carrying a firearm at the Capitol a CRIMINAL offense? I don't think so as evidenced by this statement in the executive order:
There is no statute criminalizing the act of carrying at the Capitol, there is no enforcement specified, there is no classification of the "crime" specified as in felony or misdameanor, and there is no penalty specified.WHEREAS, there is currently no restriction on the possession of weapons in the Capitol Mall Area;
In light of that, I must change my answer to Yes, open carry is LEGAL on the Capitol Steps - however if asked to leave by security, one must do so or else be criminally guilty of trespassing.
It's funny, in Washington, only illegally carried firearms are prohibited at the Capitol (and on the Washington State Ferries as well), but if a person is legally carrying their firearm they are allowed, open or concealed. Hmmmm..... I would have not thoughtit necessary to specifically prohibit illegally carried firearms, but hey, I don't make the rules.
I just submitted an entry to the Governor's Office on the state website requesting clarification between the restriction laid out by the Executive Order and Complete State Preemption of All Firearm Laws as laid out in Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 3302J.
We'll see if I get a response.
IDEagleEye wrote:And this is EXACTLY why only Illegal firearms are prohibited at the Capitol in Washington state is because preemption says that the authority to regulate firearms possession lies with the legislature - and the governor's office is executive, not legislative. You can tell what happened with the Washington rule because it says something like all firearms are prohibited at the capitol.... and then at the end it says except those firearms lawfully carried IAW RCW 9.41.050. It would appear as if in the past the governor's office of Washington got the smack down prohibiting firearms at the capitol!I just submitted an entry to the Governor's Office on the state website requesting clarification between the restriction laid out by the Executive Order and Complete State Preemption of All Firearm Laws as laid out in Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 3302J.
We'll see if I get a response.
It's kind of muddy, really, whether it's legal. Executive Orders are good for four years in Idaho - Dirk Kempthorne's 2004 order has expired, and I didn't find any executive order from Gov. Otter to replace it.
It'll be interesting to see if IDEagleEye's query gets a response, or if Otter will quickly issue a new executive order. It'll be a hard call for Gov. Otter will think long and carefully about it, because he knows Idahoans are watching.
Yes, it will be interesting!
No response from the Governor's Office yet...and interesting that Executive Orders expire after 4 years. I didn't know that.
Just received a call from the Governor's Office. They quoted the Complete State Preemption of All Firearm Laws as laid out in Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 3302J that I referenced in my email to them as the reason why they didn't re-issue the Executive Order, and confirmed that the existing one from 2004 was expired since it was more than four years old.
In summary, that's confirmation from the Governor's Office that Title 18 is the overriding legislation, all regulation must come from the legistature as stated in the code, and carry in the Capital Mall Area is no longer restricted. Open Carry on the Capital steps is legal.
Nice job ferreting out the info, IDEagleEye!
Thanks! I work downtown near the Capitol Mall Area (across the street from one of the sides actually), and I have wondered about this issue for a couple years now. Guess I just needed a nudge to actually take the time to check it out!
Thanks for the nudge!
thanks for the reply! good to know.
I had no idea that there had ever been an executive order preventing the open carry of firearms at the capital building. I just attended the grand reopening on January 16, 2010. I was opened carrying the whole time and walked through most of the new sections of the building. I pass by several state police, a school teacher escorting what I assumed was her class of teenage students, and countless other people none of whom said a word to me about my firearm. It was kind of hard to miss as it's a full-sized 1911.
You know, that's the whole reason why having state preemption of all firearms laws really makes sense for the individual. There are too many places you would have to look to see if the capitol mall area, or Boise, or Meridian, or <fill in the blank> has their own special regulations, and the individual is suddenly subject to some law/regulation/order that they didn't even know existed!
Go Idaho !!!
This site is a wealth of information. I was so impressed I registered. I don't normally do that. Keepit up.