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Repealing the ban on militias sends the wrong message to anti-government groups.

Our local law enforcement officials have served Bonner County with professionalism, compassion, and fairness.  We are confident that they don't need the "help" of armed civilians or militias.  

We, the signatories of this letter, see HB 475 as posing a threat rather than enhancing the safety of people in Idaho. We continue to support our local law enforcement and trust them to keep our community safe. 

AN OPEN LETTER REGARDING HB 475, A BILL THAT SEEKS TO REPEAL THE EXPLICIT BAN ON MILITIAS IN THE STATE OF IDAHO.

We continue to support our local law enforcement and trust them to keep our community safe.

Dear Idaho State Senators, and Governor Brad Little,

In October of 2020, the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force (BCHRTF) joined with other community members and signed an Open Letter to our local law enforcement, stating that we trusted them to provide protection in our community and did not need armed militias on our sidewalks, questioning and intimidating anyone. This action was taken after just such incidents occurred—spurred by a spontaneous demonstration by high school students in support of “Black Lives Matter”. The letter urged law enforcement to take a firm stance against groups who would unlawfully seek to intimidate our neighbors and visitors.

 

On February 23, 2022, HB 475, a bill that seeks to make such unregulated militia action legal is being sent to the Senate for a vote. The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection wrote a six page letter to the Idaho Legislature advising that the basis for the bill – namely that the current statutes restricting militias are unconstitutional—is erroneous, and citing many examples. The Supreme Court, in a landmark decision in 2008, reiterated that “military organization and drill and parade under arms are subjects under the control of the government… they cannot be claimed as a right independent of law.”  Despite this – HB475 is being supported by Governor Brad Little, and the head of the Idaho National Guard. 

 

In 2020, following the publication of the Open Letter to local law enforcement, members of the BCHRTF contacted the Bonner County Sheriff, and the Chiefs of Police in Sandpoint, Ponderay and Priest River regarding our concern about local militias and the need for law enforcement to discourage their actions—for everyone’s safety, including their own. Sheriff Wheeler, in a public statement,  warned citizens to “refuse to take the bait by rushing into the streets to make a show of force; it is not necessary.” He stated that he “ advised all who called him to stand down and not to respond to the unsubstantiated threats of violence.”  There were no public responses made by the other law enforcement chiefs.

 

We, the signatories of this letter, see this bill as posing a threat rather than enhancing the safety of people in Idaho. We continue to support our local law enforcement and trust them to keep our community safe. We want you to prevent HB 475 from becoming a law and also put your trust in those that have done the training as police officers to keep our community safe. 

 

Respectfully,

Bonner County Human Rights Task Force Board of Directors

and Your Constituents & Neighbors
(Please see list of signatories directly below)

 

Signatories of the Open Letter

moscow

marilyn beckett

Sandpoint

Yona Soltis

Sandpoint

Beverly Hague

Blanchard

Susan Dueis

Sandpoint

Emily Faulkner

Sagle

Bruce G. Hickman

Sandpoint

Richard Howell

Dover

Daniel Butler

Sandpoint

Cathy Gidley

Sandpoint

Alexis Sulek-Dommes

Sandpoint

Kristina Kingsland

Sandpoint

Adam D. Messing

Hope

Philip Longden

CLARK FORK

Yarrow Welser

Sandpoint

Gary J. Weisz

Sandpoint

Gretchen Steen

Hope, Idaha

Karen Lanphear

Sandpoint

Theresa Wardle

Sandpoint

Megan Fletcher

Clark Fork

Judi Lundak

Sandpoint

Jeff Kaye

Sandpoint

Barbara Montgomery

Sandpoint

John Lawrence

Bonners Ferry

Kris Lonborg

Dover

Susan Gervais

Dover

Susan Shaw

Sandpoint

Sandra L Terry

Dover Idaho

Steven Lazar

Moyie Springs

Doreen Beck

Naples

Stephen D Heisel

Sagle, ID

Denise Zembryki

Bonners Ferry

John O'Connor

Sagle

Steephen Laundrie

Sandpoint

Ranel Hanson

Sandpoint

Karen Lemley

Sagle

Nancy Gilliam

Sandpoint

Jane E. Fritz

Bonners Ferry

Treva Rawlings

Sandpoint

Jacelyn Lawson

Sandpoint

Marian Cox

Sandpoint

Michael Harmelin & Gail Harmelin

Sandpoint

Jane Arndt

Sandpoint

Catharine F. Huisman

Sandpoint

Diane Dennis

Sandpoint

Dave Pietz

Sandpoint

Lynn Courville

Sandpoint, ID

Anne Mitchell

Sandpoint

Linda Sue Elsa

Priest River

Cheryl A Sonntag

Sandpoint

Charles V Humes

Sandpoint

Sandra Bessler

Dover

Bob Presta

Standpoint

Sylvia Eisele

Sandpoint

Kathleen Crouch

Sagle

Jean Gerth

Sandpoint

Kylie A Presta

Hope Idaho

Cynthia Mason

Sandpoint

Terry McGuirk

Sagle

Margie Corcoran

Sandpoint

Dan Krabacher

Sandpoint

Chris Campbell

Sandpoint

John M. Anderson

Sandpoint

Katie Greenland

Sandpoint

Patricia Kliewer Shook

Sandpoint

Coral France

Sandpoint

Christine Owens

Sandpoint

Eli Sevenich

Sagle

Gerri Harvill

Sandpoint

Michael Quintano

Dover

Robert Myers

Sandpoint

Tim H Henney

Sandpoint

Shirley Paulison

Sandpoint

Kathleen Roff

Sandpoint

Edwin D Buzbee

Sandpoint

Teresa Rancourt

Sagle

Paul C Dukes

Sagle

Jan Geren

Sandpoint

Robert Eldred

Sagle

Rea Kreider

Sandpoint

Marilyn Dalby Sabella

Sandpoint

Leesa J Stefano

Sandpoint

Norman Fargo

Sandpoint

Peter & Carol Gilmore

Sandpoint

Stephen and Julie Meyer

Sandpoint

Ronald Marron

Sandpoint

Beth Allen

Sandpoint

Paul R. Graves

Sandpoint

Rebecca Holland

Sandpoint

Marsha Lutz

Sandpoint

Steve and Elizabeth Willey

Sandpoint

Christine M Moon

Sandpoint

Risa Devore

Cocolalla

Todd Crossett

Clark Fork

Doreen Shababy

Sagle

Brad Williams

Sandpoint

Misty Grage

Sandpoint

Randy and Jody Thoreson

Sandpoint

Michael Rancourt

Sagle

Cindy Aase

Sandpoint

Mary Rowe

Sandpoint

Catherine M Perusse

Hope

Kathleen Huntley

Sagle

Jeanette Schandelmeier

Sagle

Nancy Rieger

Sagle

Kirby McKee

Sandpoint

Donna Parrish

Sandpoint

Genevieve Campbell

Ponderay

M. Herron

Sagle

Darla Gregg

Sagle

Desiree L. Aguirre

Sandpoint

Linda Navarre

Kootenai

Austin Waud

Sandpoint

Amy Phillips

Sandpoint

Sharon McCahon

Sandpoint

John Seuell

Clark Fork

Margaret Wiggin

Hope

pat Whalen

Blanchard

Kenneth Dueis

Sandpoint

Rena F Perchynski

Hope

Mark Heisel

Sagle

Tim McCrum

Dover

Debra Butler

Sagle

Sally L. Smith

Sandpoint

Philip Dommes

Sandpoint

Tom Kingsland

Sandpoint

Lynda Roberts

Sandpoint

Chelsea Blanchard

Hope

Cynthia Mason

Sandpoint

Merry Brown-Hayes

Sagle

Richard Morgan

Sandpoint

Tony hayes

Hope. Idaho

Tessie Kramer

Sandpoint

Chris Norton

Post Falls

William Tregoning

Sandpoint

Karla Petermann

Sandpoint

Terry Raikes

Coeur d’Alene

Megan Marie

Bonners Ferry

Lillian lonborg

Sandpoint

Sue Peyser

Bonners Ferry

Valerie K. Thompson

SANDPOINT

Cara Pacific Campbell

Sandpoint

Yona Soltis

Sandpoint

Mary Toland

Bonners Ferry

Denise Thompson

Bonners Ferry

Orrin Everhart & Jo Len Everhart

Bonners Ferry

Barbara Russell

Sagle

Devin Laundrie

Hope

Kathy R Gorup

Sandpoint, Idaho

Michael G Fisher

Sandpoint

Daniel J Haley

Sagle

Betty McQuirk

Hope

Judy Butler

Dover

Marleigh A Kopas

SANDPOINT

Mary S McPherson

Sandpoint

Robert Libbey

Sandpoint

Joan Allen

Sandpoint

Andrew Kennaly

Sandpoint

Christa Vindum

Sandpoint

Nicky Pleass

Sandpoint

Diana Gore

Sandpoint

Bill Mitchell

Hope

Niki Parenteau

Priest River

Rich M Sonntag

Hope

Philip Longden

Sandpoint

Diane Rinck

Sagle

Rev Stanley J Norman

Sagle

Nancy Gerth

Sandpoint

Cathy Chayka

Sandpoint

Thomas Jenkins

Careywood, ID

Thomas M.Sandberg

Bonners Ferry

Christi Kramer

Sandpoint

Michael Allard

Sandpoint

Lynn Bridges

Sagle

Christine Braumiller

Sandpoint

Jill Trick

Sandpoint

Judy Labrie

Sandpoint

Shirley Moore

Sandpoint

Mary Toland

Priest River

Jane Hoover

Sandpoint

Tari L Pardini

Dover

Mark Kubiak

Sagle

Jill Shelley Kahn

Sandpoint

Katelyn Shook

Sagle

Coral Slater

Hope

Ellie Lizotte

Dover

Susan Kubiak

Cocolalla

Sue Kollet

Sandpoint

Stefanie Nostdahl

Sandpoint

Tom Tillisch

Sandpoint

Rachel Settels

Sagle

Kevin Nye

Sandpoint

Judith York

Dover

Diane Brocwkay

Sandpoint

Pam Duquette

Sandpoint

Shelley O'Connor

Sandpoint

Meyla Bianco Johnston

Sandpoint

Lanie Johnson

Hope

Kay Merica

Sandpoint

Jenny Brotherton- Manna

Sandpoint

Sue Graves

Sandpoint

Ann M Giantvalley

Sandpoint

Thomas Zep Lyster

Hope

F. Gene Merica

Sandpoint

Nancy Schmidt

Clark Fork

Mary Franzel

Sandpoint

Nancy Schmidt

Sandpoint

Sandra Piltch

Sandpoint

Patricia Ramsey

Sandpoint

Sandra Gore

Sandpoint

Carol Cunnick Ballard

Sandpoint

John Harbuck

Sandpoint

Teresa Rancourt

Sandpoint

Erin Busby

Sandpoint

Robin Dyck

Sagle

Shannon Johnson

Sandpoint

Erik Daarstad

Coeur d’Alene

Donna Brundage

Sandpoint

Brom Glidden

Sagle

Cheryl McKee

Sandpoint

Jeff Bohnhof

Sandpoint

Tom Renk

Sandpoint

Carol Holmes

Sandpoint

Julie McCallan

Sandpoint

Kam Majer

Sagle

Brenda Hammond

Sandpoint

Krista Eberle

Sandpoint

Tess Howell

Hope

Dan McLaughlin

Sandpoint

Lisa A Shecku

Sandpoint

Patricia moser

Hope

Jodi Whalen

Sandpoint

Marty Stitsel

Sandpoint

Jack Filipowski

Hope

Linda Heisel

Sagle ID

Robbin McCrum

Sandpoint

Nancy J Schmidt

Petersen

Elaine

Sandpoint

Donna Deshon

Careywood

Tammy Miller

Sandpoint

Wendy S Blanchard

Sagle

Mary Fitzgerald

Sagle

Jennifer Warnock

Bonners Ferry

Elsie M Hollenbeck

Sagle

William Kissel

Sandpoint

Kevin Naffin

Dover

Julie Reister-Keaton

Sandpoint

Meleah Norton

Sandpoint

Bette Stepek

Hope

Patty McLaughlin

Sandpoint

Meggan Gunter

Sandpoint

Nadine Dilworth

Hope

Mary J Fisher

Bonners Ferry

Terri Dunning

Hope

Susan Howard

Sandpoint

Barry Campbell

Sandpoint

Sandra J. Lamson

Naples

Lani Christiansen

Sagle

Ronald Mamajek

Bonners Ferry

Jennifer Durbin

Sandpoint

Diana R Leake

Sagle

Thomas Hancock

Sandpoint

Brenda Cooper

Sandpoint

Gretchen S Fisher

Sandpoint

Tanner Welch

Sagle

Ted Wert

Sagle

Susan Lee

Sandpoint

Georgia York

Ponderay

Velta Ashbrook

Sandpoint

Virginia A Libbey

Sandpoint

Steve Navarre

Sandpoint

Joline Wolf

Sandpoint

Jean Courville

Sandpoint

Barbara Gauzza

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Kit Mitchell

Sandpoint

Jim Mellen

Priest River

Diana L Veltri

Sandpoint

Benjamin Piper

Sandpoint

Matthew Honsinger

Ponderay

Nancy Britton

Sandpoint

Joe Leonti

Hope

Darlene K Molsen

Sagle

Steve Anderson

Careywood

Katy Fry

SAGLE, ID

Karen Sedillo

Sandpoint

Randi Lui

Sandpoint

Gerald O'Connor

Sandpoint

Margaret Lovenbury

Sandpoint

Terry A Duncan

Sagle

James Michael Corcoran

Sandpoint

Frank Gruden

Sandpoint

Daniel K shook

Sandpoint

Katie Stamps

Sandpoint

Kari A Saccomanno

Sandpoint

Shawna Parry

Dover

Elana Westphal

Sandpoint

Allyson Unzen

Sandpoint

Carol Quintano

Sandpoint

Jacquelynn Henney

Bonners Ferry

Doug Kim-Brown

Sandpoint

Irene Adler

Sandpoint

Christopher Munro

Sandpoint

Michael Rancourt

Sandpoint

Charles Mortensen

Sandpoint

Susan Prez

Sagle

Julie Nye

Sandpoint

Kathleen Eldred

Sandpoint

Lynn Pietz

Sandpoint

Galen Hill

Sagle

Stephanie Jo Malone

Sandpoint

Thomas Prez

Sagle

Rick Price

Sandpoint

Sherry L Ennis

Sandpoint

Don C Holland

Sandpoint

Margaret Arndt

Clark Fork

Margaret Wiggin

Sagle

Denise Zembryki

Sandpoint

cynthia dalsing

Sandpoint

Lynn Piper

Sandpoint

Stephen Dault

Sandpoint

Sylvia Humes

Sandpoint

Mona J. Kim-Brown

Sandpoint

Molly O'Reilly

Sandpoint

Beth Pederson

Sandpoint

Donald Barnett Ballard

Sandpoint

Susan Bates-Harbuck

Sandpoint

Gail Bryan

Sandpoint

Jessica Steidl

Sandpoint

Lindy Swartz

Sandpoint

Bruce Robertson

Sandpoint

Ellen Weissman

Sagle

Dennis Rieger

Sandpoint

Dan Krabacher

Sandpoint

Lynn Piper

Sandpoint

Charlie Parrish

Sandpoint

Nancy Renk

Sagle

Eric Ridgway

Sandpoint

Eileen Esplin

Sandpoint

Eric Berntsen

Kootenai

Chris Waud

Sandpoint

Jane Habermann

Cocolalla

Todd Crossett

Sandpoint

Carrie Clayton

 

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This open letter is an initiative of Bonner County Human Rights Task Force, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tolerance and supporting human dignity since 1992.