And now everyone's upset as hell.
Apparently, the man (who has since been identified as Bryan Carter of Meridian) had taken part in an ACLU training session earlier in the day, and had offered participants pamphlets on Idaho's open-carry laws. Once he had entered the capitol building with the Scout tour, he wandered around the floor of the legislature, checking out things on legislators' desks, and at one point plucked something out of a trash bin. There's a lengthy security video of the man's activities, if you take the link.
After spending about 11 minutes snooping around, the man was stopped by capitol security and questioned. He told them unless he was being detained or arrested he didn't have to answer their questions, and then left the grounds.
What's interesting is the reaction of some of the Republicans who have consistently supported open carry gun laws in Idaho. Suddenly, the thought of an unknown dude wandering around the floor of the legislature with a sidearm on his hip is freaking them out.
But wait... there's a sign outside the chamber, and it is pretty darn clear about what you can and can't carry into the room: no food, no drinks, no men wearing hats, no signs, no sitting on the rails, no cellphones, no distracting noises, and all bags are subject to search.
Nothing about loaded guns, though, 'cause Idaho is proud of its gun history, and gun nuts in Idaho don't want anyone telling them where they can and can't pack heat.
Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill (R-Rexburg) was concerned:
Hill has urged lawmakers to be careful about what they leave on their desks, but he is also concerned about larger security issues. “What happens when six people come and sit in the front row of the gallery with shotguns across their laps?” Hill said. “I sure as heck am not going to leave my senators in there with that.”
Here's a quick look at Sen. Hill's voting record on guns in Idaho:
So Brent Hill votes with the gun lobby 100% of the time, and now he's worried about a few shotguns in the gallery overhead?
But wait... I thought having lots of guns around makes a place that much safer. What's the problem if someone, or a group of someones, want to bring their arsenals to the Senate? Wouldn't that ensure that no one does anything crazy? After all, the more guns you have in a room, the safer that room is, right?
Maybe all of the little Cub Scouts should have been armed, too, just in case. They'll have to work on that in Boise...