A grassroots organization of Idahoans who are concerned about their right to keep and bear arms gathered on the steps of the Capitol Monday. Joining the activists with the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance were several members of the Legislature.
A key point of discussion at the rally is a legislative proposal to enhance what is known as the Castle Doctrine within Idaho law. The Castle Doctrine allows individuals certain rights and immunities as they pertain to protecting a person against the force of another individual.
Last year, Guns and Ammo magazine published a “Best States for Gun Owners” list, giving Idaho a ranking of No. 32. The list ranked all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. According to Alex Kincaid, a private attorney in the Boise area who is recognized nationally as a gun rights expert, one of the reasons for Idaho’s relatively low ranking is that Idaho’s Castle Doctrine is ambiguous.
“Current Idaho law allows a citizen to meet force with force,” Kincaid told IdahoReporter.com. “But we want the presumption involved in situations like these to benefit the private citizen who may be the victim of an intruder.”
Kincaid authored the new legislation, saying it will provide civil immunity to people who use physical or deadly force against invaders. It also would apply to people who encounter invaders in their private residence, their business or workplace, and, in some cases, in their vehicles.
“We are taking some of the best parts of the Castle Doctrine as it appears in the laws of other states and putting it in to our laws in Idaho and enhancing them,” commented Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian. Hagedorn intends to sponsor the legislation in the Senate, adding that “The NRA (National Rifle Association) has suggested that our bill could be model legislation for the rest of the nation.”
Rep. Brandon Hixon, R-Caldwell, says he will introduce the bill in the House of Representatives. “This bill will receive the full support and endorsement of the NRA,” he told IdahoReporter.com. “It is one of the very few bills that the NRA will fully support in Idaho during this legislative session.”
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