The Idaho Senate approved small changes to the law that would exclude guns made in Idaho from federal regulations. The changes would limit the state’s responsibility to defend Idaho citizens in court related to the proposed legislation.
The original plan required the state to protect citizens in any legal matter stemming from the act, which would prohibit the federal government from regulating guns manufactured in Idaho. House sponsor Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, said the legislation is intentionally setting up a lawsuit with the feds over whether Congress can regulate commerce within Idaho.
The amendment supported by the Senate would only require the state to protect citizens in civil legal matters, but not criminal cases. “That’s a significant improvement,” said Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls. “It takes the criminal component out of the equation … We’re not going to use limited state resources from the Constitutional Defense Fund to advantage you in that litigation.”
Harwood and Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, the other House sponsor of the legislation, said there’s already legal action in Montana related to a similar law in that state.