- Associated Press - Monday, February 22, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Republicans are moving forward with a measure aimed at undermining President Barack Obama’s executive action to restrict access to some of the most dangerous firearms, such as sawed-off shotguns and machine guns.

Under the proposed measure, registration of weapons identified in the Prohibition-era National Firearms Act filed with a local law enforcement agency would be exempt from public records requests. It passed through the House State Affairs Committee Monday morning in a vote along party lines.

Rep. Caroline Troy, R-Genesee, said regulations stipulated in Obama’s executive order on gun control will require people and businesses to release more personal information in registering such NFA weapons and accessories such as silencers.

Troy told the Republican-dominated committee the measure is necessary to protect personal and business tax information of those acquiring such weapons and the bill would also protect people and business from potential burglars.

The measure sparked an intense debate among committee members, with Democrats questioning the measure’s purpose and Republicans citing Constitutional gun rights.

Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, said there should be a balance between public safety and the rights afforded Americans in the Constitution.

Rep. James Holtzlaw, R-Meridian, countered that House Bill 478 was necessary to protect Idahoan’s gun rights from the federal government.

“There is no reason the federal government should know what kinds of firearm you have on your property,” Holtzlaw said.

The measure passed in a 13-4 vote. It now must face the House and Senate floors before it reaches Gov. C. L. Butch Otter’s desk.

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