The Idaho Senate approved legislation that would tell the federal government it couldn’t regulate firearms made entirely in Idaho. The plan heads back to the House for approval, due to several changes made by the Senate Monday. The plan’s original House sponsors said the legislation is modeled after similar laws in other states and intended to raise a constitutional challenge to the federal government’s oversight of business between states.
The Idaho Firearms Freedom Act is one of several plans approved by Idaho lawmakers pushing back against federal control. “We’ve given up, as citizens and states, a tremendous amount of freedom,” said Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth. “This simply challenges the power of the federal government to regulate everything in the state of Idaho under the guise of interstate commerce.” Pearce also said the plan would be friendly to businesses that would want to manufacture guns in Idaho, though he only knew of one such business, a shotgun maker in Boise.
Boise Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk was one of seven senators opposing the act. He said he supports protecting gun rights under the Second Amendment, but that now isn’t the time to go down the path of initiating a lawsuit with the federal government. Werk also said he opposes the plan because it wouldn’t require background checks on guns made and sold in Idaho. “The idea that a person from another state could cross into our state after being forbidden from purchasing a weapon for very, very good reason … is very troubling indeed,” he said.