RIGBY, ID — Yesterday, a 12-year-old student at Rigby Middle School came into class with a handgun in her backpack. She opened fire, hitting two students and a teacher, before she was restrained by another teacher. According to the BBC and AP News*, the victims’ injuries were non-life threatening – the teacher had the bullet removed by first responders, but the two students were taken to the hospital,. The shooter has been taken into custody, but her name has not been released.
There are several unknowns surrounding this incident. What was her motive? How did she have access to a gun? Where are her guardians? While these questions remain unanswered, the incident brings up concerns about Idaho’s gun laws. The state does not require a permit or a waiting period to purchase a handgun. Concealed carry requires a license, but it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon to certain areas, including schools, regardless of licensure. However, a minor as young as 12 years old is allowed to carry a gun as long as they either a) are accompanied by a legal guardian, or b) have written permission from their guardian to carry it.
In other words, if the student shooter had permission from her parents, she would have been allowed to carry the weapon as long as she didn’t carry it to school or have it concealed.
*Warning: AP news, though they updated a student’s pronouns in the article itself, still (presumably accidentally) misgenders that student at the bottom of the page, in their correction notes. I have emailed them about this, and will update this warning accordingly when they fix it.