The Idaho State House passed a bill on Monday by a vote of 55-13 which would make it a misdemeanor for law enforcement officials in Idaho to enforce any new federal firearm laws that restrict gun ownership or contain registration requirements. While some consider it to be only symbolic, the measure is a clear reaction to the Obama administration’s attacks on the Second Amendment.
The vote was along party lines and could bring fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to one year to sheriff’s deputies, police officers, and other government employees who would help federal agents who might attempt to confiscate newly banned firearms or ammunition.
The Associated Press reports,
Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, says the bill is intended to protect Idahoans from any future federal firearm laws that would target firearms already considered legal in the state. The Obama administration has said that it has no plans to confiscate weapons or require national firearms registration, but Patterson said the proposal would be a way to pre-empt any future changes on the federal level.
“(Idaho) citizens are pleased they can feel safe Idaho’s law enforcement will not be kicking in their front doors to take their firearms,” Patterson said during floor debate.
But Democratic opponents argued the bill could make it easier for criminal attorneys to find loopholes or nuances in the law to win cases for clients involved in violent gun crimes.
Some Democrats tried to argue that this would pit state law enforcement against federal agents or create a conflict among law enforcement officers with their oath. One such representatives is Democrat Holli Woodings, representing Boise. She said “They take an oath of office to the United States and the state of Idaho. I find that an inherent flaw in this legislation.”
There is no flaw in the legislation. The flaw is in her thinking and other Democrats who thing that way. Ms. Woodings took that same oath, which means she is to support and defend the Constitution, which then means any unlawful laws from the Federal government that are passed should be ignored and resisted. That’s what “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” means. The only conflict is in the minds of lawless legislators, not law abiding citizens.
Reuters reports that “Vaughn Killeen, head of the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association, warned the measure may damage state and federal law enforcement agreements that create task forces to stop illegal drug trafficking and often involve gun seizures.”
Speaking against the bill on Monday, Democratic Representative Elaine Smith said, “I don’t want to be pitting U.S. marshals against local law enforcement.”
Idaho Representative Judy Boyle (R) called the bill a “pre-emptive strike” against laws that are being considered by the U.S. Congress. “We want to make it clear to citizens of Idaho that our police officers are our partners” in protecting the rights of gun owners, she said.
Other states have already pushed back against proposed Federal gun laws by either passing or introducing legislation to put obstacles in the way of enforcement, including Montana, Wyoming, Texas, and Virginia.
This is what it is going to take. States are going to have to step up to the plate and make these stands and even nullify Federal firearm laws restricting gun and ammunition laws. While some claim it will bring problems with cooperation between state and federal agents in working on the issue of drug trafficking, there seems to be a simple solution to that as well. Simply stop the war on drugs. It has done nothing but been a miserable disaster in our society. In fact, the case could be made that the implications has been more costly in terms of money and lives than firearms ever have been.
Idaho senators need to hear from their constituents on this bill.