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State representative: Gun control not likely in Idaho

Gun control is an issue often visited and re-visited after a tragic event like the Colorado theater shooting.

In the aftermath of the Friday morning shooting in Aurora, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg even called on president Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney to openly state an opinion on the divisive gun control issue.

Our station spoke with Idaho state representative Linden Bateman (R-Idaho Falls) for his opinion on the issue and whether he believes it will become a hot-button issue in the upcoming legislative session.

“The absolute horror is almost too much to comprehend,” said Bateman as he described the way many people around the world reacted to the Aurora, Colorado shooting. Law enforcement there said 12 people were killed early Friday morning in the shooting during a showing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

“If you were to open the gates of hell, this is what you’d see,” said Bateman.

Bateman said he doesn’t see the Idaho legislature acting on the tragedy with any laws to control firearms.

“I just do not feel like any gun control legislation would be enacted by our Idaho legislature,” said Bateman. “What can you do to prevent a deranged individual like this from obtaining firearms?”

With the second amendment stating the right to bear arms, Bateman said freedom sometimes means risk. But there is one place in Idaho he strongly believes should be firearm-free.

“I just do not feel we should allow college students to carry guns on campus,” said Bateman.

Bateman voted against a bill last legislative session that would have allowed concealed carry permits on college campuses. The bill passed in the house, but failed in the senate.

“You have a lot of young people in a highly compacted area it would cause more problems than it would solve,” he said.

Though Bateman said he doesn’t believe any new legislation regarding gun control will be set forth in the upcoming legislative session in Idaho, there is potential for more government controls on the federal level when it comes to those high capacity magazines like the ones used in the Aurora shooting.

Our station reached out to the Bonneville County Democrats for an overview of the local democrat position on the issue. Calls were not returned by air-time.

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