State Legislature, JFAC Budget presentation

State Rep. Melissa Wintrow looks on as Alex Adams, Gov. Brad Little’s budget director, makes a presentation before the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee outlining the governor’s budget recommendation for next year at the Idaho State Capitol on Jan. 8.

BOISE — People convicted of sexual battery of a 16- or 17-year-old would lose their gun rights if a bill introduced Tuesday becomes law.

People convicted of lewd conduct with someone under 16 lose their gun rights now, Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, told the House Judiciary committee. However, sexual battery of a 16- or 17-year-old when there is at least a five-year age difference, which was added to state law in 1992, wasn’t added to the list of crimes that disallow someone who is convicted of them from owning a gun.

“We really do believe, based on the research we have, it was just forgotten on the list,” she said.

The committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill, clearing the way for a full hearing later. However, committee Chairman Rep. Tom Dayley, R-Boise, seemed to anticipate it would be more controversial, telling the committee several times that an initial hearing is a time to ask questions about technical aspects of the bill and not to debate its merits.

Wintrow said after the vote that she also hopes to reintroduce a bill she sponsored last year to take gun rights, for two years, away from people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. That bill passed committee but failed on a 39-31 vote in the House.

“I’m working the committee and really trying hard to get another introductory hearing for that,” Wintrow said.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.

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