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Update on Pending Pro-Gun Bills in Idaho

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last week it was your calls and emails that helped convince House Speaker Lawerence Denney (R-9) and the House Leadership to hear one final pro-gun bill this year, House Bill _______, the “Employer Liability Act.”  HB_____ would prohibit an employer from banning the lawful storage of firearms in an employee’s locked vehicle. Idaho's business organizations have joined us in supporting this legislation.  Now, the members of the legislature need to hear from you on this important issue.  

Make sure to give special thanks to State Representative Jeff Thompson (R-33) who signed on as the House sponsor of the bill.  Without Representative Thompson, this bill may have not had a chance this year.  Contact information for the House Leadership can be found here, and you can contact Representative Jeff Thompson (R-33) at: jthompson@house.idaho.gov.

While no action is needed at the moment, we will keep you informed as to the progress of this bill, but there are still several pro-gun bills in Idaho working their way down the stretch. 

Here is an overall update:

On Monday, March 30, House Bill 65A passed the State Senate by a 31 to 0 vote (with one excused vote).  It now heads to the desk of Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) for his consideration.  HB 65A would enable law-abiding Idahoans to purchase firearms in non-contiguous states.  It would also permit non-residents to purchase long guns in Idaho.  As the law currently stands, residents of Idaho can only purchase firearms from immediately surrounding states.  With the passage of HB 65A, a resident of Idaho would now be allowed to purchase a firearm in most of the 49 other states.  This bill affects only rifles and shotguns, as federal law prohibits interstate handgun sales. 

House Bill 137 would allow state parks the ability to regulate discharge outside of normal, lawful usage; i.e. target practice in a safe area, hunting, sporting clays, or self-defense.  The purpose was to help control what would be considered unlawful discharge in populated areas.  It also includes that a subsection that permits concealed carry in state parks.  The Governor signed this bill into law on Friday, March 25.

House Bill 194, the “Idaho Sport Shooting Immunities Act (IDSSIA),” encourages people to volunteer at shooting ranges as range officers by providing them with liability protection.  The bill was improved to comply with workers compensation issues to protect law enforcement while they are involved in shooting activities.  HB194 has been amended on the Senate Floor and is awaiting a third reading.

On Tuesday, March 24, House Bill 229 passed the Idaho State House by a 61-9 vote.  This NRA-supported measure makes numerous improvements to the current emergency powers statute that was signed into law in 2006.  It has moved to the Senate and has been assigned to the Senate State Affairs Committee.  HB229 is a NRA-supported reform to legislation passed in 2006.  Specifically, this prevents government officials from imposing additional restrictions on the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms and ammunition during a state of emergency. 

Again, no action is needed at this time, but please continue to check your email and www.NRAILA.org for updates. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.