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Idaho Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply on Native American Reservations?

Image: Idaho Gun Laws: How Do State Laws Apply on Native American Reservations?
Iconic view of the Sawooth mountains in Idaho. (Dollarphotoclub)

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM

Hunting and fishing are a way of life for many residents of Idaho, but some activities by Native Americans have apparently conflicted with Idaho gun laws. Idaho is home to five reservations and several Native American tribes, including the Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai, Nez Perce, and Shoshone-Bannock.

A controversy over hunting rights erupted in September 2011, due to members of the Coeur d’Alene tribe hunting on non-reservation land in Benewah County, according to The Coeur d'Alene Press.

The Native Americans believe they have that right because in the late 19th century, parts of the reservation were sold to non-tribal members by the federal government. Since then, tribal members still hunt on the land owned by non-tribal members.

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The U.S. attorney in Idaho was called in by the Benewah County prosecutor because the state and county do not have jurisdiction over tribal members to deal with gun law violations or most other issues.

According to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1968, Native American reservations function without state rule. The law allows only the federal government to oversee the reservations.

The Act also allows Native American Tribes to function almost autonomously with little federal intervention. It also allows the tribal members to manage federal resources on their own, eliminating federal government control.

Because Native American tribes have sovereign control over reservation lands, it is the tribal councils that determine the gun control laws on the reservations.

According to Handgunlaw.us, some of those violations are operating a gun under the influence of alcohol or drugs, carrying a concealed weapon without proper authority, or aiming a gun at someone without self-defense. Guns are also forbidden to those who are mentally incapacitated or have been convicted of a felony.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Hunting and fishing are a way of life for many residents of Idaho, but some activities by Native Americans have apparently conflicted with Idaho gun laws.
idaho, gun, laws, native american, reservations
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2015-31-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM
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