When Ben Byrne asked a group of about 200 law enforcement and highway officials how many of them had come in contact with sovereign citizens about 25 people raised their hands.

Byrne, a reserve officer with the Apex, North Carolina Police Department and a current anti-terrorism instructor, was the keynote speaker during the two-day Idaho Highway Safety Summit held at the Red Lion this week.

He said sovereign citizens are right-wing extremists that reject the U.S. government and the laws of individual states.

“Members pick and choose what laws apply to them,” Byrne said. “And they’ve decided that most laws — including license plates, driver’s licenses and proof of insurance — do not apply to them.”

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