Mikael Thalen
March 12, 2013

The Idaho House has approved a measure that makes it a misdemeanor for government and law officials to enforce any new federal firearms laws including bans and registrations.

H.B. 219, or the “Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act,” approved Monday 55 – 13, could bring fines of up to $1,000 and a year jail time to any local officials who engage in confiscation, including assistance in such acts with any federal agents.

The bill’s Statement of Purpose also explains the bill’s job in protecting police:

“The legislation also protects Idaho law enforcement officers from their supervisors ordering them to violate this statute. Supervisors doing so would be in violation of this law and officers would not have to follow such an order. Idaho law enforcement officers are partners with Idaho citizens in protecting the rights as outlined in both the U.S. and Idaho Constitutions. This bill demonstrates the commitment of Idaho’s law enforcement officers to Idaho citizens and the legislature’s commitment to protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being forced to violate their oath of office.”

“We do have the authority to protect our first responders and our citizen police forces throughout the state so they don’t have to break their oath of office, putting them in the face of citizens who expect them to protect citizens’ constitutional rights,” said Rep. Mark Patterson (R).

“(Idaho) citizens are pleased they can feel safe Idaho’s law enforcement will not be kicking in their front doors to take their firearms.”

Rep. Holli Woodings (D), an opponent to the legislation, says state police take an oath requiring them to uphold federal and Idaho law and that this bill could force officers to violate their oath of office.

In light of recent shootings, a wave of gun control measures have been introduced nation wide, despite the number of violent crimes in the U.S. being at a 40 year low. FBI statistics also show that violent crime has plummeted over 50 percent in the last 15 years with a murder rate drop of over 60 percent as well as a drop in gun crime.

The push for gun control has also caused over 348 sheriffs, including several in Idaho, to state that they will oppose any new gun control legislation that they feel goes against the U.S. Constitution.

The bill will now head to the Idaho State Senate.

Mikael’s article first appeared at Examiner.com.

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