By REBECCA BOONE
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A panel of Idaho lawmakers has advanced a bill that would repeal the state’s primary law banning private militias. The move from the House Transportation and Defense Committee came Wednesday afternoon after the lawmakers heard from several residents who said the legislation could dangerously embolden the paramilitary groups that already exist throughout the region. The bill comes from Idaho National Guard general counsel Maj. Steve Stokes, who said it was part of an ongoing effort to eliminate laws and regulations that are considered unnecessary red tape. Several residents urged the lawmakers to strengthen the law instead, citing paramilitary activity that disturbed some northern Idaho towns in recent years.