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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Idaho House kills bill to void local knife laws

BOISE – A proposal that would have allowed knives to be carried in schools and jails across Idaho appears dead.

On a 9-8 vote Monday, the state House Judiciary Committee killed a Senate-passed bill seeking to invalidate all local regulations in Idaho on the use, carrying or manufacture of knives.

Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, said his bill would assert state primacy over knife regulations, to avoid a patchwork of different rules from city to city or from school district to school district.

“It should be the state that has primacy over knives – not individual school districts, not individual cities or communities,” Heider told the House Judiciary Committee. “I think that you’ll find that most people in the state are in favor of this. I know the sportsmen certainly are.”

At Monday’s committee hearing, the bill was opposed by the Idaho Association of School Administrators, the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Education Association and a school-safety consultant from eastern Idaho. The Idaho Sheriffs Association urgently demanded a lengthy amendment to clarify that carrying, using or manufacturing knives would be illegal at county jails, “except persons who may use a knife for cooking or eating purposes or used by detention deputies and peace officers.”

“I would hope I would not have to explain the danger of knives in the county jails,” Sheriffs Association lobbyist Mike Kane told the committee.

Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, proposed holding off on voting on the bill until later in the week, to allow various parties to work with Heider on amendments. But Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, proposed just killing the bill. “The state already has primacy,” he said, noting that state laws supersede local ordinances and rules. “Effectively what it does, in my opinion, is it wipes out everything at a local level. It’s not necessarily asserting primacy. It’s actually a usurping of local control, and that concerns me a great deal.”

The bill had previously passed the Senate on a 25-10 vote.

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