We received notice that HB 167 is being voted on in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee.
The bill deals with criminal trespass on what the legislature is calling “critical infrastructure.”
However, the bill makes a major change to Idaho’s trespass law that puts gun owners in jeopardy. It’s a fundamental change that could see you thrown in jail, and that’s why we need your immediate help.
HB 167 has several major concerns for gun owners.
First, under Idaho’s current law, a gun owner cannot be trespassed without verbal warning from the owner of a facility, or law enforcement.
However, HB 167 changes the law so that a sign is a sufficient notice and that if you were to walk into a facility deemed “critical infrastructure,” the cops can be called on you without warning. A sign would be enough, even if you didn’t see the sign.
In a state like Idaho, where hundreds of thousands of gun owners carry every day, what are the odds that many of us will be arrested for trespassing under this new law?
So, what defines “critical infrastructure.” The list is long, and not exhaustive, but here are some of the areas the bill states as critical infrastructure:
“Commercial facilities with open public access…” (which means almost everywhere).
“Financial services” (meaning banks).
“Food and Agriculture” (meaning any facility where food is involved).
“Health and Public Health (meaning hospitals or any other health facility).
There are states where signs have the force of law, but Idaho is not one of them, and we don’t want to be one of them.
The second major issue with HB 167 deals with organizations who send out communication with the “intent” to criminal trespass faces a fine of $100,000. That’s a large chunk of change and would be devastating to an organization like ours.
Now, the intent is hard to prove, but do we trust that an anti-gun prosecutor or judge won’t put us on trial for the sole purpose of bankrupting us?
It’s becoming a more common tactic for our enemies to use the judiciary to attack pro-gun organizations, like the ISAA.
What happens if the ISAA calls for a protest outside of a city hall and the protest spills into the streets and onto a grocery store parking lot? We intended for people to protest, so are we going to be liable as a result?
Finally, HB 167 runs afoul of Idaho’s firearm preemption law.
Under the firearm preemption law, cities and counties are prohibited from regulating the carrying of firearms. This bill would allow those governments to regulate them by making signs have the force of law.
The bill does this by listing “government buildings” as critical infrastructure. No definition of government buildings is defined and therefore city and county governments would be covered.
The city of Boise could place a sign at each government building, ban the carrying of firearms, and then trespass gun owners once they enter the premises.
The bill simply contradicts the firearm preemption law, and shouldn’t even have a chance at passing.
Despite our effort to notify the committee of our concerns, the bill passed 9-8 and now heads to the full Idaho House.
Some committee members, even some of the Democrats, expressed the same concerns we had about the bill.
Despite those concerns, the committee moved the bill forward. We will have a list of names on who voted for and against it in a future email.
Through texting, email, and social media, we need to mobilize gun owners to take action to stop HB 167.
No matter what you do though, your email to your legislators is crucial.
Gun owners have mobilized in Idaho before to stop bad legislation, and we have mobilized before to push good legislation.
The bottom line is, these bills only die because of the pressure from grassroots gun owners just like you.
We’ll keep you apprised of any updates on HB 167.