Legislation could reduce domestic violence

Print Article



Staff Writer

COEUR d’ALENE — Possessing a firearm after being convicted of domestic battery will be against the law in Idaho if a southern Idaho lawmaker has her way.

Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, has been working on legislation that falls in line with a federal law that makes it illegal for domestic abusers to own a gun.

Wintrow introduced the proposal Tuesday in the House Judiciary Rules Committee that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone convicted of domestic assault or battery within the last two years to possess a firearm.

Misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail and with maximum fines of $1,000.

Although federal law prohibits violent offenders from having firearms, including people convicted of domestic assault and battery, local law enforcement personnel must use state statute and cannot enforce federal laws because they are not federal agents, police said.

Wintrow said her proposal applies to people already prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing a firearm and it would empower Idaho police to protect families from violent abusers.

“This policy stays in line with 28 other states and the District of Columbia,” Wintrow said.

Wintrow got the green light by members of the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration committee to draft legislation.

“Based on research, we’ve seen this is reasonable legislation,” Wintrow said.

Post Falls Chief of Police Scot Haug said any legislation would have to balance the safety of potential victims of domestic violence with gun rights.

“It would have to be a delicate mix,” Haug said.

Under Wintrow’s proposal, anyone convicted of felony domestic violence would have to petition the court to reinstate their gun rights.

“We’re not talking about a charge. We’re not talking about a phone call. We’re not talking about an allegation,” Wintrow said. “We’re talking about conviction.”

Statistics show, she said, that if firearms are available, domestic altercations are five times more likely to end in death. Idaho surveys have shown that a large majority of people are in favor of keeping guns out of the hands of violent people.

If it is passed, the legislation would mirror federal law and give police a mechanism to enforce the state version of the law.

If the legislation meets that criteria, Haug said, cops would support it.

“If the goal is to reduce domestic violence, I’m all for it,” he said.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Veteran stuck during dock flap

February 21, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By BRIAN WALKER Staff Writer HAYDEN LAKE — An 81-year-old veteran is in a battle with the Idaho Department of Lands over his dock on Hayden Lake while trying to sell his property. "We’ve ne...


Read More

In reality, this survivor always a Scout at heart

February 21, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Millionaire businessman and retired Air Force commander Terry Fossum spoke about how being a Boy Scout profoundly impacted his life. The organization’s annual leadership breakfast, held Tuesday at ...


Read More

Northwest Boulevard hotel hopes to break ground soon

February 21, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press As several high-rise projects push skyward in Coeur d’Alene this year, a planned hotel project on Northwest Boulevard remains grounded. The project, nicknamed “Coeurllaborate,” that includes a propo...


Read More

Search for Isenberg enters second week

February 21, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The search for Larry Isenberg on Lake Coeur d’Alene is expected to resume today after the sonar efforts were delayed due to choppy water and the frigid weather icing up equipment. The 68-year-old Ko...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy