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House-passed gun bill asserts state rights rather than federal firearms control

House-passed gun bill asserts state rights rather than federal firearms control

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 11, 2013

“With all the clatter coming out of Washington, Idahoans are concerned about their Second Amendment rights,” said Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, from the floor of the House. Patterson was arguing in favor of House Bill 219, which passed overwhelmingly in the House Monday morning by a vote of 55-13 along party lines.

“This is consistent with our Idaho state constitution, and our U.S. Constitution,” Patterson noted in his remarks.

The bill, which emulates legislation passed in the state of Wyoming, protects the rights of Idahoans to own firearms and ammunition as determined by the state government, and not the federal government. The bill stipulates that law enforcement officers in Idaho are to uphold state law, rather than federal law regarding firearms, and seeks to address the potential of the federal government banning semi-automatic guns and magazines.

“I have some concerns about this bill,” said House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, during debate on the bill. “Some police officers in my district are concerned about their ability to work with law enforcement agents of other jurisdictions.”

Patterson responded that the bill will not preclude local law enforcement agencies from working with federal agents.

Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, stated that she had spoken with officials from the Idaho State Police, and that, based on those discussions, she believes that the bill was flawed and should be sent back for amending.

Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, believes the bill represents a “good idea,” but also said that it needed amending.

And Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, noted that, based on her conversations with Bannock County sheriff’s officials, she was recommending a “no” vote on the bill.

“Out police officers are our partners,” Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, stated in defense of the bill. “This bill is as much for their protection as it is for all the rest of the citizenry.”

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