Idaho Legislature Serious About Gun Rights
Idaho is one of the most gun owner friendly states in the U.S. due to our steady, diligent work to strengthen our right to keep and bear arms. In fact, with last session’s passage of S1313, Stand Your Ground, one of the premier firearms magazines, Guns and Ammo, moved Idaho’s gun friendly status to number two in the nation. Unfortunately, some states are moving in the other direction. This frightens Americans who understand our Founding Fathers’ reasoning in protecting citizens’ firearm rights in the 2nd Amendment to our U.S. Constitution:
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In recent years, the US Supreme Court has interpreted the 2nd Amendment includes individual citizens have the right to keep and bear arms.
The Idaho Constitution is even more direct. Stated in our Declaration of Rights Article 1, Section 11:
Right to keep and bear arms. The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent the passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of any legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.
Below are 30 laws the Idaho Legislature has passed, the majority of them between 2008 and 2018, to protect Idahoans’ firearm rights. The National Rifle Association assisted with passage of all these laws.
1990 – Changed “may” to “shall” The County Sheriff shall issue concealed weapons permits. The bill was strongly opposed by the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association. After it became law, ISA asked the Idaho Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. Instead, the Court ruled in favor of the law.
2008 – State preemption over firearms with colleges & universities having an exception
2009 – Prohibits additional restrictions on lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display or use of firearms or ammunition during a state of extreme emergency.
2009 – Joint memorial asking Congress to cease and desist attempts to enact federal legislation impinging on the individual right to keep and bear arms
2009 – sport shootings activities immunity
2009 – allow out of state firearm purchase by Idaho residents & purchase of firearms in Idaho by non-residents
2009 – discharge of firearms for hunting in state parks which are open to hunting & rights of firearm owners to possess, carry and discharge in lawful defense of self, others or property will not be affected by state park & recreation board rules
2009 – provide immunity to employers for employees who store firearms on a business property
2009 – information relating to an applicant or licensee received or maintained by the sheriff or state police is confidential and exempt from disclosure
2010 – exempt from late renewal penalties any active service member serving overseas
2010 – added place of birth and citizenship to the concealed weapon application; sheriff shall accept any of the following chosen by the applicant: completion of hunter safety, any firearms safety or training course by the NRA, law enforcement, colleges, universities, private institution or organization utilizing instructors certified by the NRA or state police.
2010 – petition for relief from firearms disability & transmittal of modification to the national instant criminal background check system (NICS)
2012 – allow certain firearms possession for hunters under 10 years old
2012 – Constitutional amendment Right to Hunt, Fish & Trap (although hunting has nothing to do with why the 2nd Amendment is necessary to preserve Freedom)
2013 – Enhanced Concealed Weapons license
2013 – under maintenance of peace code removed ability of cities to regulate, prevent and punish carrying of concealed weapons
2013 – sheriff shall provide the CCL applicant a copy of the NICS results record upon request
2013 – exempt specific knives and lawfully possessed taser, stun gun, or pepper spray along with rifles and shotguns from a CCW determination
2014 – campus carry with an enhanced CCW license
2014 – protect Idaho law enforcement officers from violating their state Constitutional oath of office from any order to do so concerning legal firearms
2015 – CCW and Enhanced CCW cleanup bill
2016 – prohibit from public disclosure records of any certification or notification required by federal law in connection with acquisition or transfer of a firearm
2016 – allows CCW without license by specific citizens; allowed a CCW license if probation has been successfully served
2017 – allows current members of the armed forces to carry without CCW license
2017 – process for firearm restoration
2017 – CCW license may be used for identification for voting
2018 – provides exemption for qualified retired LEOs to carry on college campuses
2018 – authorizes & encourages school districts to offer firearms safety course
2018 – allows senior or emeritus member of the state bar to teach enhanced CCW classes
2018 – Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine
Through the years, the Idaho Legislature has stopped proposals which would have reduced 2nd Amendment rights, many of which were unconstitutional. Last year, the House stopped a bill which would have been a violation of both due process and Article 1, section 11 concerning removing firearms from a citizen’s home without that citizen being charged with a felony.
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