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House Bill 241 — Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act

House Bill 241 — Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act

Parrish Miller
March 1, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 241 would prohibit the establishment of a registry of firearms or firearm owners. 

Rating: +2

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

House Bill 241 would create Chapter 38, Title 26, Idaho Code, titled the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act to protect gun buyers from being added to an official or unofficial registry of privately owned firearms or of firearms owners.

The bill contains a legislative intent section that says, in part, the "potential for tracking of lawful firearms and ammunition purchases will have a significant chilling effect on citizens wishing to exercise their federal and state constitutional rights to keep and bear arms in Idaho."

At issue is the use of a new "merchant category code" to track gun and ammunition sales based on financial data provided whenever a purchase is made. The new merchant category code will be used "to conduct mass surveillance of constitutionally protected firearms and ammunition purchases in cooperation with law enforcement."

The intent of this bill is, by its own language, "to prohibit the misuse of payment card processing systems to surveil, report, or otherwise discourage constitutionally protected firearm and ammunition purchases within the state of Idaho."

Specifically, it says, "No state or local governmental entity, including an official, agent, or employee thereof, or any other person, public or private, may knowingly and willfully keep or cause to be kept any list, record, or registry of privately owned firearms or any list, record, or registry of the owners of those firearms."


The bill additionally protects private businesses from being forced by financial institutions to participate in this surveillance scheme, stating that "a financial institution or its agent may not require the usage of a firearms code by any merchant located in Idaho that is a seller of firearms or ammunition separately from general merchandise retailers or sporting goods retailers." 


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