Balukoff Refuses NRA Questionnaire, Releases Statement on Guns

By A.J. Balukoff

Recently, I received the 2014 Idaho Candidate Questionnaire from the National Rifle Association of America. Being a gun owner and avid supporter of the Second Amendment, I assumed that the survey would be pretty straightforward for me. As I reviewed the questionnaire, it became apparent that the line of questioning was biased and loaded with leading questions that do not allow me to accurately state my position on gun laws.

I am declining to respond to the poorly crafted questionnaire. Rather, I have chosen to provide my stance on Second Amendment rights by exercising my First Amendment right. The letter below, which I have sent to the NRA, clearly explains my position on this important matter.

Special interests gave us Idaho's Guns on Campus law. We don't need a governor and Legislature who are beholden to special interests. We need independent thinkers in government who answer to voters.

Click here to view the NRA’s questionnaire.

April 2, 2014

Mr. Dakota Moore

National Rifle Association of America

Political Victory Fund

11250 Waples Mill Road

Fairfax, VA 22030-7400

Dear Mr. Moore:

I am writing this letter in response to your 2014 Idaho Candidate Questionnaire because the questions in the questionnaire do not permit me to accurately present my position on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the ownership and use of firearms. The leading questions and multiple-choice answers in your questionnaire allow for only polarizing and extreme positions.

I own several firearms, and I am an avid hunter and fisherman who holds an Idaho Lifetime Combination Hunting/Fishing license. I also enjoy shooting trap and skeet. I have always supported the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I also support the majority opinion, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, in District of Columbia v. Heller. The Court stated that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to regulation, such as concealed-weapons prohibitions, limits on the rights of felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in certain locations, laws imposing conditions on commercial sales, and prohibitions on the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. It stated that this was not an exhaustive list of the regulatory measures that would be presumptively permissible under the Second Amendment.

I also support the Idaho Constitution, which prohibits licensure, registration, and special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition.

Question 6 in the questionnaire asked if I agree with the overwhelming majority of Idaho legislators who supported passage of Senate Bill 1254. I believe this bill was not necessary and creates more problems than it solves. I believe the Legislature and Gov. Otter erred in passing the bill without allowing testimony from the people most directly affected by its passage—the university presidents, faculty, students, and police chiefs. It is an unfunded mandate that is causing our public universities, which are already underfunded, to incur millions of dollars in unanticipated costs to comply with the new law. Finally, it is a violation of local control. University presidents, faculty, and students should have the ability to determine the culture of their college campus. That culture should not be dictated from the Statehouse.

In summary, I support the United States Constitution, the Idaho Constitution, and I support the reasonable regulation of firearms as described in the Heller decision.


A J Balukoff

Democratic candidate for Governor of Idaho