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Idaho House passes bill blocking cities and counties from regulating knives 

Courtesy Idaho Statesman
BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) — The Republican-controlled Idaho House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass a bill banning cities and counties from restricting knives, despite concerns raised that passing the bill would force municipal performing arts centers to allow knives at public concerts and performances. 
Rep. Jordan Redman, R-Coeur d’Alene, sponsored House Bill 620a. Redman said knives are a form of arms that are protected.
“This bill would enact a state knife preemption law, which would prevent political subdivisions in the state from regulating the possession, sale, transfer and manufacture of knives,” Redman told legislators Tuesday at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise. “Idaho has (a) preemption law that protects firearms from local regulation, and we need to do the same for knives. It is important to remember that knives are arms too and protected by the Second Amendment. By protecting these we are doing the same as we are protecting the firearms.”
Under the bill, “any city, county, or other political subdivision of this state shall not enact any ordinance, rule, or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying, sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration, or use of a knife or knife making components in this state.”
Under Idaho state law, political subdivisions include cities, counties, municipal corporations, health districts and irrigation districts. House Bill 620a includes exceptions that would allow public schools, charter schools, court houses, law enforcement facilities, prisons, jails, other involuntary confinement facilities and political subdivisions that regulate child care to regulate knives.
Concert halls, performing arts centers not included as exceptions in bill
During floor debate in the Idaho House on Tuesday, Rep. Kenny Wroten, R-Nampa, expressed concern that performing arts centers and other venues owned by cities and counties would not be able to prohibit knives at concerts and public performances. 
“You’ve got all sorts of concerts, all sorts of events…,” Wroten said. “Oftentimes the managers, the sponsors of these events, the stars themselves, they are the ones that request that no weapons be brought into the facility.”
Wroten said he worried about the economic impact if municipal performing arts centers and civic centers were prohibited from banning knives at their events and performers canceled or guests declined to attend.
“The economic impact of those events could be very expensive throughout the state,” Wroten added. “I can only imagine what it would do to Nampa alone. But any of the centers, any of the things, whether it’s Boise or Pocatello or wherever you have these venues. This could be a real economic impact if they are forced to allow weapons into a facility when the entertainers have that in their contract and just will avoid us. They just won’t come.”
Redman said he wasn’t worried about artists and entertainers backing out of or skipping events over weapons concerns.
“I understand the concerns,” Redman said. “Again, this is a Second Amendment bill. This is trying to protect Second Amendment rights for Idahoans, not for outside entertainers.”
Redman’s knife bill has been criticized and sidetracked before. The original version of the bill did not include exceptions that would allow courthouses and police stations to regulate knives and was sent out for amendments. The letter “a” in House Bill 620a indicates the bill was amended from its original version. 
Ultimately, the Idaho House voted 56-13 on Tuesday to pass House Bill 620a. Republican Reps. Richard Cheatum, R-Pocatello; Clay Handy, R-Burley; and Wroten joined all House Democrats who were present in voting against the bill. 
House Bill 620a heads next to the Idaho Senate for consideration. In order to become law, the Idaho Senate would need to also pass the bill, and Gov. Brad Little would have to sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature. 
Tuesday marked the 65th day of the 2024 legislative session, which legislative leaders are hoping to wrap up for the year on March 29.
The post Idaho House passes bill blocking cities and counties from regulating knives  appeared first on East Idaho News.

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