BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation to enhance protections for gun makers, sellers and weapons carriers during declared emergencies in Idaho headed to the full Senate on Monday.
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to approve the measure that alters the state’s disaster preparedness act by prohibiting the closing of gun-related businesses during an emergency.
Republican Gov. Brad Little issued a temporary stay-at-home order in early 2020 to prevent the state’s health care system from collapsing due to the coronavirus pandemic that had entered the state and quickly sickened residents and health care workers.
Some workers and businesses were declared essential and allowed to continue, but others weren’t. Gun businesses were recognized as essential businesses under Little’s order.
The legislation also prevents Idaho’s concealed weapons laws from being circumvented, and that weapons used legally can’t be confiscated during a disaster.
The bill clarifies that the protections regarding firearms also cover ammunition, components and accessories.
Republican Sen. Todd Lakey said amending the state’s disaster preparedness act would make sure a future governor didn’t declare gun businesses non-essential.
Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne said he couldn’t support the bill in light of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, noting no state could be sure that wouldn’t happen in their states.
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