Man on Capitol security video identified, says he didn't mean to cause alarm

The man whose behavior on the House floor early this month alarmed legislative leaders and prompted security changes at the Capitol is Bryan Carter of Meridian.

Carter, 47, said he is sorry. “It broke my heart that I caused the legislators a concern. That was not at all what I had come about.”

Idaho State Police said Carter committed no crime.

Carter was wearing a gun on his hip about 7 p.m. Jan. 10 when he joined a tour of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and their parents. Carter wandered through the House chamber, taking photographs of lawmakers’ desks and documents and reaching into the trash for a discarded paper, which he returned.

The video prompted temporary closure hours of the House and Senate chambers, after 6 p.m. weekdays and on weekends.

Carter said he joined the group after recognizing the tour’s leader, Rep. James Holtzclaw, R-Meridian. Holtzclaw said he thought Carter was a parent.

Carter said he reached into the wastebasket because he thought a scout had put a lawmaker’s document in the trash and he wanted to return it to the desk. “I was just being a regular dad,” said Carter, whose own children were not with him. “The kids were all over the place.”

The photographs Carter took with his cell phone were of an internal legislative phone list and an invitation to a lobbyist-sponsored social event in which he had an interest. “The picture of the phone list is blurry, so it didn’t do me any good.”

Carter is an advocate of Idaho's open-carry gun law and frequently attends public meetings in Meridian and Boise with a sidearm. On Jan. 16, he appeared at a forum at Meridian City Hall attended by 11 lawmakers, including Holtzclaw, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill and House Speaker Scott Bedke. He sat in the front row for 90 minutes and was last to speak, urging lawmakers to scrutinize spending on school athletics. Carter said he had saved taxpayers $102,000 by home schooling his children the past eight years.

Hill, Bedke and other Republican leaders will meet Wednesday to discuss Capitol security. Reviving the 1996-2008 gun ban in the Capitol is not on the table, said Hill.

“I don’t think it’s risen to that level,” said Hill, R-Rexburg.

Hill joined Bedke and House Minority Leader John Rusche in saying they support broad public access. “This building is way more open than most capitols,” said Bedke, R-Oakley. “There’s a culture and a tradition and I don’t see that changing.”

“I would think one occurrence would not dictate a severe restriction,” said Rusche, D-Lewiston.

But Bedke and Hill said they’re not yet ready to reopen the chambers they control. “It can be opened now for official tours, but wandering through — I’m going to leave that in place for awhile in conjuction with the Senate,” Bedke said.

Rep. James Holtzclaw, said he met with Carter over the summer to discuss gun legislation. Holtzclaw said he didn’t recognize Carter on the tour and shook hands with everyone in the group.
“I hate for him to be looked upon as a bad guy because I don’t really know the gentleman,” Holtzclaw said. “But what he did was wrong.”

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I'm sure he didn't mean to cause alarm

However, his actions were so rude that he did. That is not his phone list and not an invitation addressed to him. I hope he will think twice before photographing items that do not belong to him or are intended for him. No, there is no law against what he did but there are certainly expectations that he would act like an adult.

Shame on you, Bryan. Your

Shame on you, Bryan. Your actions regardless were inappropriate and none of your business. Shame on you. Coming forth and identifying yourself does not negate your actions.

double comment ooooops

Apology for double comment. Not intentional.

some students' parents

It was reasonable until this comment:
Carter said he had saved taxpayers $102,000 by home schooling his children the past eight years.

Conclusion: idiot.

Carter, just because you have the right to carry your firearm in most areas doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Carter is an example of a

Carter is an example of a typical gun-toting Idahoan. The kind that Chuck Winder and Sheriff Raney appeal to with their rants about protecting the 2nd Amendment at all costs. Now the Legislature goes into protective mode. Do you really think it’s because he looked at papers or because he had a gun on his hip?

wait, are you talking about

wait, are you talking about Ada Co. Sheriff Raney? Because that guy rolls over when ever the Feds ask and hasn't the slightest interest in anything but political clout and getting more federal grant money for expensive swat toys.

Carter - just another Idaho

Carter - just another Idaho nutcase. What is the need to carry a visible firearm in public other than to scare everyone with whom you come into contact ? And there is something mentally wrong with someone who goes around photographing documents which do not belong to him.

But it broke his heart

Have some sympathy why don't you.

The gun should not be an issue

Who cares if he had a gun on his hip? He was legaly carrying that gun and was breaking no laws, nor was he acting in a menacing manner. You anti-gun types who are frightened by the sight of a gun are ridiculous. Do you have to change your drawers after visiting Cabela's? The legislature overreacted in this incident. Restricting access because some d-bag took some pictures is the knee jerk reaction of a liberal, not an idaho statesman!

It wasn't the photos

It was the gun. It's one thing to preach about open carry, but when it gets personal, well now, we need to restrict visitors. Hypocrites.

I care if he has a gun on

I care if he has a gun on his hip. Why do you think police officers have one on their hips? It's to intimidate people and carries a very distinct message "don't *&^% with me". My very personal opinion is that it also is like short men who drive Corvettes. It's compensating for something.

yet strangely enough, police

yet strangely enough, police training, literature, and procedures instruct that the use of a firearm by police is to always be because of a "fear for my safety" as opposed to an intimidation tactic. Officers will come off sounding less credible and more like bullies in front of a jury unless they insert the fear & safety phrase into their reports. Plain and simple.

Intimidation IS GOOD if it keeps a crime from happening. That is why patrol officers don't wear khakis and polo shirts but SROs do.

If a criminal is convinced not to shoot a convenience store clerk and take the till because they see a customer with an open carry, isn't that a good thing?

To use the gun banner's phrase... "if it saves just one life".....

Police, security guards and

Police, security guards and probation officers should be armed and I'm fine with it on display. If that deters crime and helps them do their jobs Jason, that's not just good it's great. I just don't see the need for a "regular" citizen to carry a gun on his hip. Why does an insurance salesman or an accountant need to walk around displaying a gun?

He would have been fine without the gun-incognito.


People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

Fun stuff

If politicians firmly believe this guy's right to carry should prevail over restrictions of firearms in government halls, why is this handled like an incident?

If you have papers you don't want seen in a large, open hall--well by all means lock them up at night.

This is a fine example of Idaho politics. It shows a tendency to hide what they do on paper in the capitol from the public, and then defend the ridiculous act of carrying a sidearm into the chamber while following a bunch of kids.