Visits with Vista Outdoor in Lewiston
Lewiston - Idaho's ammunition manufacturing industry is expanding, but the new jobs being created may be dependent on federal policies that Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says must stay consistent with the rights of Americans under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Crapo visited last week with representatives of Vista Outdoors, which recently announced plans to expand its ammunition manufacturing operations in Idaho, creating more than 130 new jobs in the Lewiston area. Presently, one out of every five jobs in Lewiston is related to ammunition manufacturing.
"Governor Otter, the State of Idaho, Nez Perce County and Valley Vision are all to be commended for creating the business-friendly environment that encourages Vista Outdoor to expand in Idaho," Crapo said. "But we can't sustain that expansion if some federal agencies and officials continue to try to wrongfully restrict the right to bear arms, an effort opposed by many Idahoans and Americans alike."
Crapo noted letters from federal agencies sent to try to stop veterans from owning a firearm if they have suffered a head wound and another effort by Social Security to report beneficiaries to the National Instant Criminal Background (NCIS) List if the agency deems them "mentally incompetent." Such a designation could come simply from having a spouse help with a beneficiary'spaperwork. Crapo has introduced legislation to stop the Social SecurityAdministration's plannedNCIS designations.
"Any discussion about restricting the Constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans deserves, at minimum, a full public debate in Congress," Crapo added. "The Second Amendment reads: 'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' I firmly believe this provision prohibits the federal government from denying citizens this right."
Crapo is also co-sponsor of the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act, which would repair the existing background check system, increase the use of treatment-based alternatives for mentally-ill offenders and improve crisis response training for local officials.