As states and cities continue debating the proper places to allow firearms, a hiking group in Idaho has taken up the issue, too.
The Boise Trail Heads posted a notice on its web site this month announcing a gun policy. The policy allows members to carry firearms only when the host permits it. An example of a permitted event may be "where a camping trip is scheduled in an area where predatory animals could pose a threat to the group," according to the policy.
Other sections of the policy requires gun carriers to announce they are carrying when they RSVP.
Mike Needham, one of the organizers for the 935-member Boise Trail Heads, said in an email the policy was "spurned by a member openly carrying in the group and others telling the hike leader on the events that they felt uncomfortable around guns."
"I’ve found out from the dialog that this has created that many of the members are concealed carriers and feel that we have found a good balance," Needham also said in his email to me.
Whether guns are needed or should be permitted on the trail has come up with other hiking groups. The National Park Service allows guns on a qualified basis.
Back in April, I was trying to hike to Teat Mountain in Utah County when I met two men on the trail carrying pistols in holsters on their hips. It made me uncomfortable at first.
Quickly, I reminded myself the men were within the law, it was their trail, too, and they had no incentive to draw their weapons just because I was there. We exchanged hellos and I didn’t see them again.
Do you hike with a gun? Does it bother you when others carry a weapon on the trail?
— Nate Carlisle
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