New bill would penalize cops for acting on federal ban on weapons
BIll aims at protecting state's firm 2nd amendment support. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Gun control legislation has been discussed a lot in Washington, D.C., recently. But, before any of those bills can pass, Idaho has a message for the federal government.
"We're trying to protect the second amendment rights, and make sure the federal government doesn't overstep those rights,” says Meridian Republican Representative John Vander Woude.
Lawmakers presented two bills at the statehouse today, one of which would make it a crime for police in the state to seize any weapons as part of a federal gun ban.
"If they willfully and knowingly violate this act, there's a $50 to a $1,000 -- maximum of a $1,000 fine, and up to one year in prison,” he says.
But, even with the punitive measures for cops in Idaho, proponents of the bill say it actually protects local police.
"It gives them protection against if a federal agent comes here and says, 'hey, ya know, we need ya to go grab these guns,' because our constitution says that the only guns that they are allowed to confiscate are those that are in a commission of a crime,” says Vander Woude.
Another lawmaker from Meridian also presented a bill to protect companies that manufacture guns in the state. He says to expect even more protection for gun owners in Idaho, because there's a real fear of major restrictions coming from the federal level.
"The concern, i think, is pretty real,” says Republican Representative Jason Monks. “I'm not sure how it would all play out here, especially in Idaho. Idaho is a pretty staunch second amendment rights state, but we're going to do everything we can here at the Statehouse to help them."
The Fraternal Order of Police says they endorse the legislation, saying it will clear up any confusion over what local police can do. They say they support Idaho's current gun rights.