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Making Idaho a Second Amendment Sanctuary State

A national, bipartisan “gun safety” bill provides the perfect opportunity for Idaho to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

A Washington DC bipartisan deal to promote “gun safety” provides the perfect opportunity for Idaho to declare itself a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

Sanctuary states exist in many areas of American law. They exist when states refuse to cooperate with the national government in specific areas of law. Sometimes it means that local or state governments will not share information with the national government, as when local police do not tell ICE about illegal immigrants they arrest. It also means that state governments will not accept federal funds because they do not like the federal strings that come with the funds.

The “gun safety” bill under consideration is all about the federal strings. Its chief features include state grants for “red flag” laws, enhanced background checks for people under 21 years old, and increased national funding for mental health diagnostics in schools. Each of these features is objectionable. Idaho could protect itself by declaring itself a sanctuary state that does not take money or cooperate with gun-grabbers.

Red Flag laws. Red flag laws allow police to seize guns from people that are considered a danger to themselves or to others. Sometimes there is a court order. Sometimes the seizure is temporary. This “gun safety” bill bribes states to adopt such laws.

“Red flag” laws poll well. And the underlying principle seems reasonable—no one wants crazy, suicidal people to have guns. It is nevertheless a gun confiscation law, as the San Francisco District Attorney admits. There is often no due process. While advocates act as if loved ones will be calling the police to protect their loved ones or others, the truth of red flag laws is very different. Red flag laws can also be used by the jealous, envious, and the easily-triggered to get at their enemies. Young men are hauled into proceedings and their guns are confiscated for calling someone names on social media. Or for criticizing gun control. Or an angry child at a gun-collecting father. Or a cheating girlfriend worried that her now ex-boyfriend will react badly. Indiana, which had one of the first “red flag” laws, routinely (about a third of the time) seized guns from innocent people, according to an academic study.

“Red flag” laws establish the principle of gun confiscation, a principle which can be expanded and will be expanded. Owning guns will become a privilege not a right under “red flag” laws. The slippery slope is real in American policy when the slope is driven by the American Left. The Left controls the institutions that determine who is “a threat.” They see threats from anyone who is skeptical of national authority, especially if they are men and white. No state interested in its sovereignty or protecting citizen rights should establish “red flag” laws. It is an acid test for Idaho Republicans.

Enhanced Background Checks. The bill proposes a mental health database to determine whether or not those 21-years-old and younger can buy at the point of purchase. Again, this assumes owning a gun is a privilege and not a right. It is also a horrible idea in practice. The enhanced review requires those databases (a) to exist and (b) that the information is being tabulated and entered, which in turn (c) that there are more invasive forms at the point of sale and (d) more bureaucrats to enforce the point of sale limits. This database will also be expanded as time goes on, as some enterprising liberal senator, with Republican help, no doubt, will seek to expand the database to older people in the future. Again, let the gun grabbers have a foot in the door and they will steal everything in your house. A national database is a prelude to confiscation, as it was in Australia.

Mental Health Funding. The idea that schools should be tasked with identifying those with mental health problems may be attractive, but our confusion about mental health means that schools cannot be trusted with the task. No one is particularly good at identifying the mentally ill. Our ideological school officials think men dressing as women and dancing with children is the height of mental health, while opposing such events shows that one is insane. We cannot trust schools or public officials generally with fine judgments about mental health. Schools can hardly teach reading and writing. And our courts are no better at making fine judgments about mental illness.

All aspects of the "gun safety" bill are designed to harm the enemies of the Left (do you think they will disarm BLM?). They are going to declare conservatives mentally-ill threats to the safety of other citizens as a prelude to disarming that part of the population. That so-called conservative politicians go along with this is beyond objectionable.

Idaho Republicans should adopt a simple rule: No money and no cooperation.

The State of Idaho will not take federal funds from the “gun safety” bill under any circumstances and it will not cooperate with the collection of data to be used for any purpose under the "gun safety" bill. Any funds under the "gun safety" bill must be approved by the legislature and no state executive agency may take funds under the “gun safety” bill for any purpose.

The Republican Party should adopt these principles in its platform. The legislature should pass them into law when it meets in January. And the governor should sign the bill.

Do not be bribed into gun-grabbing. Do not allow the slippery-slope to operate in our great state.


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