Idaho v. RodriguezAnnotate this Case
John Rodriguez sold a firearm to an individual who had visible gang tattoos and had previously identified himself as a member of the Norteno gang, but who was actually an informant paid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The State charged Rodriguez with two counts of providing firearms to criminal gang members under Idaho Code section 18-8505 and a sentencing enhancement for providing the firearm to further criminal gang purposes under Idaho Code section 18-8503(1)(b). After trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as to Count I but not guilty as to Count II and answered "no" to the sentencing enhancement question. The district court suspended a unified sentence of ten years and placed Rodriguez on probation for ten years. Rodriguez appealed, arguing his conviction should have been vacated because criminalizing the sale or transfer of firearms to gang members without the intent to further gang activity, Idaho Code section 18-8505 violated rights guaranteed by the federal Constitution: the freedom of association under the First Amendment, the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, and the due process requirement of personal guilt under the Fourteenth Amendment. Finding that Rodriguez forfeited his constitutional challenges by failing to present them to the trial court, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed.