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House Bill 391 — Governor, disaster declarations

House Bill 391 — Governor, disaster declarations

Parrish Miller
May 4, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 391 adds language intended to protect individual rights during disaster emergencies declared by the governor. 

Rating: +1

Analyst Note: House Bill 391 is one of three bills introduced at the end of the 2021 legislative session in an attempt to pass some of the protections for individual rights contained in House Bill 135, which was vetoed by the governor. 

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 391 amends Section 46-1008(7), Idaho Code, to clarify that protections related to the right to keep and bear arms, which apply during a state of disaster emergency, also apply to firearm and ammunition manufacturers. Additionally, this bill declares that a state of disaster emergency cannot be used as a pretext to "limit or suspend any rights guaranteed by the United States constitution or the constitution of the state of Idaho, including but not limited to the right to peaceable assembly or free exercise of religion."

This straightforward update to Idaho code should be obvious and uncontroversial as no conditions — real or imaginary — ever have existed or ever could exist that would justify the suspension of constitutional rights. 


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