BOISE -- The debate on gun control and school safety continues to be a hot topic throughout the country. Friday, Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney met questions head-on at a discussion panel. The panel included Representative Christy Perry, Senator Chuck Winder, and former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robert Bakes were also on the panel.
People at Friday's panel said many Idahoans are wondering how the President's proposals would affect their Second Amendment rights. Justice Robert Bakes was there to give a legal opinion.
Basically the majority of the court now says you literally look at the language of the constitution, and if it violates the language of the constitution, you don't stretch it or anything, said Justice Bakes.
However, some of the actions proposed by the President still have to go to a vote in Congress. That's where the four members of Idaho's Congressional delegation come in.
Their history would show that they're supportive of the Second Amendment and Idaho's culture. So I think yea, they will be very supportive. And I think it could come down to just one or two votes in Congress as to one way or the other. So I think it's important that people in Idaho work with them, said Senator Chuck Winder.
Senator Winder, said state legislators set up a task force in the statehouse to look at what they can actually do, and what legal options they have.
We do take it serious to defend our constitution as well as the Constitution of the United States, so if there's an opportunity, I think we would consider litigation, he said.
Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney said he has received questions and concerns about his role in any new gun control legislation.
If a weapons law passed here, personally I would be against it, said Sheriff Raney.
However, the Sheriff said he has a responsibility to uphold the law.
When we take an oath of office, then we take an oath to support the Constitution and to support the laws. And it doesn't say that I'm going to enforce the laws I like and I'm not going to enforce the laws I don't like. I think we call that anarchy, he said. And so think about if you had 44 different sheriffs in Idaho picking and choosing which laws they were going to enforce, picking and choosing which constitutional rights they were going to enforce. That is dangerous.
However, Raney said he doesn't think gun control is at the heart of the issue.
We've got to go to the root of the problem. And so often the root of the problem lies in mental health, as we know happened there. And we've got to be able to look at how do we prevent mental illness? said Raney. The weapon is the tool, but we need to focus on the people.
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