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House Bill 620 — Knives, regulation

House Bill 620 — Knives, regulation

Parrish Miller
February 25, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 620 would preempt most local knife regulations but create some concerning exceptions. 

Rating: +1

NOTE: The House Amendment to House Bill 620 adds two new problematic exceptions detailed below. The analysis has been updated and the rating has changed from +2 to +1.

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 620 would create Section 18-3327, Idaho Code, to say, "Except as provided in sections 18-3302 and 18-3302A, Idaho Code, a city, county, or other political subdivision of this state shall not enact any ordinance, rule, or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife making components in this state."

Sections 18-3302 and 18-3302A, Idaho Code, deal with concealed weapons and the sale of weapons to minors, respectively. 

Idaho already has a preemption statute under section 18-3302J for firearms, but this law does not preempt local knife regulations. House Bill 620 would close this loophole and more fully respect the right of the people to keep and bear arms.


The bill would create an exception to the above prohibition for "public schools, including public charter schools" and "any court of record," allowing these entities to "regulate the possession of a knife."

The bill would create five exceptions, saying, "Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the following entities may regulate the possession of a knife:

  1. Public schools, including public charter schools;
  2. Any court of record for any courthouse;
  3. All law enforcement facilities;
  4. All places of involuntary confinement, including:
    1. Prisons and jails established pursuant to tile (sic) 20, Idaho Code; and
    2. Entities managed and operated pursuant to section 56-203, Idaho Code; and
  5. A city, county, or other political subdivision of the state in order to regulate child care facility safety standards."

Some of these exemptions, particularly a, b, and d are relatively consistent with existing law, but c and e are not. Right now, there are no provisions of law allowing for the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms in "all" law enforcement facilities or in child care facilities. Adding these exceptions broadens government authority to infringe on fundamental rights.


Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

House Bill 620 would also say, "a city, county, or other political subdivision of this state shall not enact any rule or ordinance relating to the manufacture of a knife that is more restrictive than any rule or ordinance relating to the manufacture of any other commercial goods."

The bill would protect knife manufacturers from targeted taxation or regulation. 


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