Lawmaker wants to make all Idaho citizens militia members
Caldwell Senator says proposed constitutional amendment would go further to protect 2nd amendment rights in the state. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Senator Jim Rice of Caldwell wants to send a message to the federal government.
"No. You don't have the right to disarm Idaho citizens, and you don't get to tell them they can't have particular types of weapons,” Rice says.
He aims to keep citizens from being restricted by asking Idaho citizens to vote to change the state constitution and make every adult male and female a member of the state militia. It would do that, because the federal government cannot remove weapons from members of a militia.
Currently, every male Idaho resident ages 18 to 45 is a member of the state militia, which is a group separate from the national guard that can be called upon in the event of major military need.
But this change would take away age and gender requirements.
The question lawmakers will face is whether or not this bill will stand up to a federal challenge.
"If it makes effectively clear that a woman in Idaho has a right to keep and bear arms, or a person who's 46 or older has a right to keep and bear arms, then it theoretically does serve a national and proper local purpose in our state,” says former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy.
Leroy says, not only would the amendment hold up against federal challenges; he thinks it's a needed update.
"Sometimes, modernizations that take out sex discriminations and age discriminations are an important part of modern life, and keeping a constitution tuned up,” he says. “This is a good proposed change to Idaho's constitution"