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New bill would take guns from people who rape 16, 17-year-olds

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.