On Tuesday, an Idaho state senator called on his colleague to resign when it came to light that the fellow state lawmaker entered a guilty plea to rape charges in 1974.
A group of legislators from Boise are preparing to meet next Tuesday to decide what Patterson’s future in the legislature may be. Not everyone is determined to force him out. Another Republican official from Patterson’s district told the AP that the situation is “fluid,” and that nothing has been decided.
The Idaho Statesman reported in November that Patterson failed to disclose his guilty plea in the Florida case and was therefore turned down for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Patterson can still carry a hidden gun, thanks to a unique provision in Idaho’s laws that exempts state legislators from licensing requirements for weapons. Nonetheless, he told the Statesman that he is planning on appealing the denial.
More: Idaho Republicans Consider Ousting Colleague Who Pleaded Guilty to Rape Charges
Also see: Idaho Rep. Mark Patterson can carry gun without permit
BOISE – A legislator whose concealed weapon permit was revoked for lying about a long-ago rape case can still legally carry hidden guns – because Idaho is the only state in the nation that exempts elected officials from the permit law.
The case of state Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, is bringing new attention to the 1990 Idaho law that provides the exemption, and some Idaho lawmakers say it’s time for a change.
Patterson is mulling an appeal of his permit revocation; the Idaho Statesman reported on Sunday that the Ada County sheriff revoked his permit after discovering that he lied twice, in 2007 and 2012, on his permit application. The form asks if the applicant has ever had a withheld judgment for a felony offense. Patterson didn’t disclose his 1974 guilty plea and withheld judgment for assault with intent to commit rape in Florida. He was acquitted in another, unrelated rape case three years later.
Idaho’s elected-official exemption applies to any elected official in the state, from school board members and highway district commissioners to the governor. A slew of others have been added since 1990, including jail guards and city and county officials.
Yet a person convicted of a non-violent felony, sent to prison and released 30 years later cannot own a firearm, or vote? Am I getting this correct?