GOP lawmakers battle on Facebook over Idaho gun rights, school safety bills

An intramural spat over gun rights and school safety legislation prompted by December’s Connecticut school shooting has erupted on Facebook between House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, and Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale.

On Tuesday, Hagedorn’s school safety measure, Senate Bill 1133, was the victim of what lawmakers call a “radiator cap” amendment.

SB 1133, which passed 33-1, was excised by the House and replaced with two bills that Senate State Affairs Committee Chairman Curt McKenzie has declined to hear. McKenzie, R-Nampa, has said there’s not enough time to consider the bills.

The new Senate Bill 1133  revives those measures:  House Bill 219, which would strengthen Idaho prohibitions on federal regulation of Idaho-made weapons that never leave the state; and House Bill 280, which would make it a misdemeanor for state and local law enforcement officials to help federal agents confiscate federally banned weapons or ammunition. HB 219 passed the House 55-13; HB 280 passed 61-7.

The National Rifle Association entered the fray Wednesday in a letter to all House members urging passage of HB 219, which Hagedorn said he also supports.

Stung by the House’s gutting of his bill, Hagedorn urged his Facebook friends late Tuesday to contact House members to ask them back away from the amendments and restore the school safety measure.

In turn, Moyle told Hagedorn to “get your facts straight,” and that “your bill was DOA” and “We did you a favor.”

“We replaced (SB 1133) with two very good bills that the (S)enate refuses to hear,” wrote Moyle. “They received national attention from those (who) value our (S)econd (A)mendment rights.”

Boyle also told Hagedorn his bill was dead, writing, “No one wanted to tell you that and hurt your feelings” and that it was sent for amendment “to not embarrass you with killing it.”

Hagedorn, who spent six years in the House before moving to the Senate this session, tried to tamp down the conversation Tuesday night, telling Moyle, “We need to talk more off-line.”

But Moyle responded with sarcasm, writing, “I will try and do a better job of filling you in the future.”

Boyle urged Hagedorn to seize the chance the House has given him to look good. “Be proud you have the opportunity to carry this in the Senate my friend,” Boyle wrote. “I hope you will be able to let your anger go and vote with us.”

Replied Hagedorn: “Judy, please understand it’s not anger, it’s lack of respect for our process that I disagree with, we’ve taken a safety bill intended to provide security to our kids, teachers and administrators and prioritized that below firearm bills that have a issues of enforcement and constitutionality over their safety.”

The son of House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, joined in, saying he welcomed the discussion. Wrote Ty Palmer, “I would hope we all take a step back and see this conversation for what it is. How awesome it is that several legislators are hashing it out ON FACEBOOK! What a supreme example of transparency! I applaud you all!”

Extended excerpts of the postings follow:

Hagedorn:

Today the language for a proper state wide school security program defined in S1133 was stripped out of the bill and replaced with language not associated with ensuring safe and secure schools for our kids and the staff that educates them. I need your help in contacting the Idaho House members and asking them to normalize the bill with the amended language that has been agreed upon by everyone in the security working group involved.

Our Idaho kids, their parents and the educational staff all lost today with this action. It saddens me when the Idaho Legislature acts like the U.S. Congress we have worked so hard to not become.

Moyle:

Marv your bill was dead in committee and to have a chance to save it you agreed to sent it to the amending order. It was a poorly written bill with little support. We replaced with two very good bills that the senate refuses to hear. They received national attention from those whose who value our second amendment rights. We did you a favor.

Hagedorn:

You are wrong Rep. Moyle and you know better. We had broad support and the amendments that Rep Horman and others worked on and sent to you never made it to the Chief Clerk to even be considered. It disappoints me that you never took the time talk to me on your intent… We had amendments worked out that satisfied everyone from the ACLU to the Freedom Foundation, the Chiefs, School Boards and Law enforcement… The objective should have been to make a good bill better and not assume you knew how everyone would have voted on it and allowed the process to work. If you wanted to “cap” a bill, why select such an important bill to our kids, parents and those, like your wife, who work within those buildings? We need to talk more off-line…

Moyle:

Marv i am not wrong get your facts straight your bill was DOA and I am sorry u did not recognize that. I will try and do a better job of filling you in in the future.

Boyle:

Marv the bill was not coming off general orders and was dead as there was too much opposition. No one wanted to tell you that and hurt your feelings. People want to see what the school security task force will develop. Meanwhile, schools are still free to work with their local law enforcement to identify security issues and take action. Montana legislature just passed a similar bill to H219 but used their state laws where we use our Idaho Constitution. It is supported by NRA, FOP, and many Idaho sheriffs and by Idaho citizens who were very disappointed the Senate didn’t have time to hear these Second amendment bills providing protection for both Idaho law enforcement officers and Idaho citizens from unConstitutional federal actions. Be proud you have the opportunity to carry this in the Senate my friend.

Hagedorn:

The School Security Task Force was involved in the language of this bill that would provide them the sideboards within which they would work!… It’s disappointing that no one will have the chance to explain what the bill’s intentions were to the rest of the House members.

Boyle:

You did talk about the bill in the committee where it was going to die on a motion to hold. The do pass motion didn’t have enough votes so it was sent to the amending order to not embarrass you with killing it. I am sorry but that is what happened.

Boyle:

I did help work on the two bills that are in your bill. We have been told repeatedly over the years to challenge the feds at every opportunity regarding state sovereignty which the commerce bill accomplishes. H219 was crafted with law enforcement and is a preemptive strike against unConstitutional federal laws, rules, executive orders. As I said Montana just passed a similar protection for their law enforcement and citizens. State legislatures are to stand between such federal acts and our state citizens. Our Founding Fathers said this over and over. That IS our job which my constituents understand and expect to occur. Both of your House members have supported these bills and other Second amendment bills this session as have District 9 legislators. I hope you will be able to let your anger go and vote with us.

Hagedorn:

Judy, please understand it’s not anger, it’s lack of respect for our process that I disagree with, we’ve taken a safety bill intended to provide security to our kids, teachers and administrators and prioritized that below firearm bills that have a issues of enforcement and constitutionality over their safety. I have, as you know, also carried and supported and carried quite a number of our bills on the Senate side. The question that we should be asking is why select a bill that safeguards our kids in schools to make a point with bills that have some issues and need to go to the amending order (which we will now not have a chance to do) to ensure they are defensible? We are near the end of the session, where now friends are beating on each other, to try to get the right things done. I’m as upset that my suppressor bill (S1099) is being held because more Idahoans will suffer hearing damage and it will cost us all more money for hearing mitigation health care/medicaid… but I understand the reasons it’s held, it’s frustrating, but valid.

As an example of what we can’t fix is that the language of H219 that was amended into this bill states the following: “No federal order, law, rule or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after January 1, 2013, shall be knowingly or willfully enforced by any agent of the state…” So what do we do when a federal conviction of felony drug dealer has a type of order prohibiting the drug dealer from owning or possessing guns. If it occurred after the H219 (now S1133aa,aah) became law it would be a crime for a police officer to later arrest that felon for possession of a firearm… and the felon would go free, is that what we intend? I don’t think so, but a FEDERAL COURT ORDER is also included when we say (in H219) that “No federal order…” be enforced. Really, is that what we want? We now have no way to fix that… unless it is amended once more in the House. Your call.

Ty Palmer:

I would hope we all take a step back and see this conversation for what it is. How awesome it is that several legislators are hashing it out ON FACEBOOK! What a supreme example of transparency! I applaud you all!

 

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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