Idaho Gun Rights Activists Target County Fairs

Aug 2, 2019

Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett argues with a security guard at the Canyon County State Fair about whether he can bring his gun to the fair. Pruett and other gun rights activists are aiming criticisms at county fairs who are on higher alert since a deadly shooting at a California garlic festival.
Credit Greg Pruett / Facebook

County fairs have become Idaho’s latest gun rights battleground.

In the wake of a mass shooting at a California festival, some Idaho counties were on heightened alert for their annual fairs. But gun rights activists were quick to point out that in Idaho, public land means guns are allowed.

That culminated in an argument between Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett and Canyon County Fair officials. Pruett recorded the incident.

At first the officials tell Pruett no guns allowed on the fairgrounds. He fires back:

“Do you know what the state law is? Then you’re violating it.”


According to Idaho law, no city or county can stop people from carrying guns on public property and that includes county-owned fairgrounds. Officials eventually let Pruett in with his gun on his hip.


Gun rights activists then focused their ire to the east when a Twin Falls County Sheriff’s deputy asked people to leave their guns at home for the county fair. He asked that fairgoers leave security to law enforcement. This came after a deadly shooting Sunday at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California.


That caught the attention of State Rep. Chad Christensen (R-Ammon), who was elected with the help of Pruett’s group. He took to Facebook to blast the Twin Falls deputy and vowed to investigate rumors that other counties were trying to keep people from bringing guns to their fairs.


“There is a movement to stop citizens from carrying at county fairs,” Christensen wrote on his Facebook page. “Please let me know if you see something like this in our district. It is a violation of the law to stop you!”


The Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office later released a statement clarifying its support for the Second Amendment.


Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter @HDruzin


Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio