The Idaho chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Idaho House passed SB1205, legislation which would attempt to nullify federal gun safety laws, including the laws that prohibit people with dangerous histories from having firearms. The legislation would encourage extremists to defy federal gun laws and impede local law enforcement’s ability to do their jobs. The bill will move to Idaho Governor Brad Little’s desk.
“Gun violence continues to rock our communities every day,” said Nick Arambarri, a volunteer with the Idaho chapter of Moms Demand Action. “If Governor Little truly stands by our law enforcement officers, he will veto this bill immediately. This legislation would only make their jobs harder, especially in a time when they are on the frontlines of two public health crisis — gun violence and coronavirus.”
“We need proven solutions to save Idaho lives from gun violence,” said Lauren Axness, a volunteer with Idaho Students Demand Action. “From gun suicides to city gun violence to domestic violence, we know that Idaho is not immune to our nation’s public health crisis. Governor Little should veto this bill and prioritize keeping his promise to protect our state.”
Nullifying federal law is unconstitutional and provisions in the bill would prevent law enforcement officers from protecting their communities from gun violence and encourage extremists to defy federal gun laws, including laws that keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Idaho already has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and under a nullification law this would only be exacerbated.
With over 260 gun deaths per year, Idaho needs proven gun safety laws to end this public health crisis. Under a nullification law Idaho law enforcement officers would be discouraged from assisting federal authorities in making sure people who are a threat to themselves and others don’t have access to a firearm. Nullification is widely opposed by law enforcement officers across the country and a similar bill was recently defeated in Wyoming this session.
Gun violence costs Idaho $1.9 billion each year, of which $44.2 million is paid by taxpayers. Lawmakers should be focused on legislation that will save lives and money in the state such as extreme risk and secure storage laws.
Additional information on gun violence in Idaho is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how Idaho’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.