Though Sen. Mike Blackbird calls it the "skinhead bill," he says it is not directed solely at that group of racist youth and, therefore, passes constitutional muster.
That argument is open to debate.
Essentially, the bill requires convicted felons to register and be fingerprinted by the county sheriff or city police within 48 hours of entering a jurisdiction. Those who do not would face up to six months in jail or a $10,000 fine.
Sex offenders on parole or conditional release and those convciceted of drug-related crimes whether they were felonies or not, would also be required to register.
The Coeur d' Alene Democrat sees his bill only as a tool, one more "arrow in the quiver" of law enforcement officials trying to fight all kinds of crime.
Post Falls attorney Chuck Lempesis said the bill is badly flawed. While it deoes not specifically mention skinheads, it was drafted with them in mind and that borders on some "serious constitutional questions," Lempesis said.
"Why don't we just register everyone who comes into Kootenai County and have them polygraphed?" Lembesis said.
A skinhead gathering is planned for April 21-23 at the Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Arayan Nations, north of Hayden. Skinheads are known for their close-cropped hair, paramilitary-style dress and racist philosophy. The measure would rarely be effective against skinheads, said Coeur d'Alene attorney Tom Mitchell. Some skinheads would not be covered by the law and those who would be, as well as other felons, could choose to ignore it.