"This would allow people in or out of uniform to protect themselves, their families, their loved ones and, in turn, protect our loved ones in the case of national significance—a terrorist attack," said Rep. Don Cheatham (R-Post Falls), sponsor of House Bill 93.
That wasn't enough for Rep. Christy Zito (R-Hammett), who indicated she wanted Cheatham's bill to be expanded.
"Currently the bill says we would allow 'any person who is a resident of Idaho, or is a current member of the armed forces.' It's confusing and it makes it harder for law enforcement. Why can't it be 'any American citizen' instead of 'resident of Idaho?'" she said.
Zach Brooks, chairman of the board of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, stood before the committee to agree with Zito's proposed change.
"All U.S. citizens would like to be afforded their God-given, constitutionally-protected right," said Brooks. "It defies logic that we're not including U.S. citizens."
Committee member Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard) was shut down by Chairman Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Iona) when she attempted to bring up a previous concealed-carry measure that was not granted a hearing from Loertscher.
She said: "I mean no disrespect to the chairman, but I want to make it clear on the record that a freshman [legislator] tried to carry a bill earlier in the session..."
"We're not going to go there," said Loertscher, bringing down his gavel. "Comment on the bill, not on the chairman."
"No one's voice should be silenced," said Scott.
When tempers cooled, the committee ultimately decided to support Cheatham's original proposal to grant concealed-carry privileges to members of the armed forces, sending the measure to the full House for its consideration.
After a robust debate on the state's concealed-carry law, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee voted Thursday to expand the list of people eligible to carry concealed handguns to include current members of the armed forces.