Bill to take gun rights from people who sexually batter 16, 17-year-olds heads to House

Bill to take gun rights from people who sexually batter 16, 17-year-olds heads to House

Gun Rights

BOISE — People convicted of sexual battery of a 16- or 17-year-old would lose their gun rights, under legislation that’s headed to the full House. The House Judiciary committee voted Monday, with Reps. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, and Christy Zito, R-Hammett, opposed, to approve HB 70. Most other felony sex offenses, including lewd conduct with someone under 16, are already on the list of offenses for which someone would lose their gun rights for life. However, sexual battery of a 16-or-17-year-old is not, as Ada County sheriff’s deputies learned last year when someone with such a conviction applied for a concealed carry permit. Terry Derden, the department’s associate legal adviser, said he researched the legislative history after that and doesn’t think there is a reason why sexual battery of a 16-or-17-year-old wasn’t included. “I don’t think anyone intended the age of the victim to determine whether this person keep their gun right,” he said. Sponsor Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, said she also had the attorney general’s office and legislative researchers look into it, and they couldn’t find any evidence its omission was deliberate. “They could find no evidence that it was intentionally left off that list, especially since it’s a felony with a life sentence,” she said. The only debate before the vote came from Scott, who asked a few questions about whether the bill could mean a 22-year-old man in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl could lose his gun rights for life for sexting. […]

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