03 Idaho State Constitution

 

Idaho became a territory on July 4, 1863, and a state on July 3, 1890. The Constitution of the State of Idaho was approved that same day in 1890. It is the basic document that overviews those core rights granted to the state of Idaho and to its citizens. Three sections of the Idaho state Constitution are relevant to gun owners’ rights.

CONSTITUTION RESEARCH. The Idaho state Constitution is designed to lay out legal principles of rights and restrictions on large categories. What it affirms, allows, and prohibits are usually stated in very broad terms. These govern the details of Executive Orders, administrative rules, and legislative statutes, leaving their development to various branches of government and their recording to other types of official documentation.

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Article I, Declaration of Rights [LINK]

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Section 1 – Inalienable Rights of Man

Section 1 states as inalienable the rights for “defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety.”

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Section 11 – The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Section 11 affirms the right of Idaho citizens to keep and bear arms.

It allows for the passage of laws related to restriction or misuse of firearms.

  • Concealed weapons
  • Minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm.
  • Penalties for possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
  • Punishment for the use of a firearm.

It prohibits the passage of any law involving:

  • Licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition.
  • Confiscation of firearms, except when actually used in the commission of a felony.

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Section 23 – The Rights to Hunt, Fish and Trap

Section 23 affirms the rights of Idaho citizens to hunt, fish, and trap, including by “use of traditional methods.” These rights do not include a right to trespass on private property, affect water rights, or diminish any other private rights.

It allows for the passage of laws related to the suspension or revocation of an individual’s license for hunting, fishing, or trapping.

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