BOISE -- As the nation and lawmakers engage in the conversation over gun control, the Idaho Legislature prepares to have this conversation as well.
We will look to protect the rights that we have and maybe even open up some more opportunities for law abiding citizens, said Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian.
We're just 10 days into 2013 legislative session and as lawmakers are formulating bills -- gun control, mental health and school safety are all issues that will get extra attention this year.
The plan is to take up these issues this session. We re told one thing is for sure, do not expect more regulations when it comes to guns.
We will look to protect the rights that we have and maybe even open up some more opportunities for law-abiding citizens, said Hagedorn.
Hagedorn is talking about gun control. This issue took center stage after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but so did mental health and school safety.
Hagedorn and Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, are working together to make sure these issues get addressed.
People are concerned, said Boyle. They just don't know what is the national government going to do and we also have responsibility to take care of our kids and be sure they're safe, so we want to do that in a responsible manner.
That includes making sure the House and the Senate don't duplicate or contradict each other when creating bills. Here's what Boyle says are the two major priorities with these potential bills.
To protect and defend our Second Amendment rights. We always want to do that. That's a fundamental right, and two - to adequately protect our school children, said Boyle.
Hagedorn says right now there are a lot of ideas on the table. He, Boyle and other lawmakers will now sift through those and find something that's going to work.
I think the public needs to understand that we aren't going to support any more restrictions, that this legislative body is, and the governor has spoken out very clear, more restrictions are not in our agenda, said Hagedorn.
We want to be sure we do this right, and that whatever we have is defensible in court, and it works practically on the ground, said Boyle.
Again, still very early in this session and it could still be a few weeks if not several weeks before a bill or two bills are presented in either the House or the Senate.
Lawmakers are including the governor's office when creating these bills. They've also reached out to other people, like the attorney general, to get opinions on Idaho laws and the Idaho Constitution to make sure whatever bills are brought forward are done right.