Sandpoint Wades Into Idaho Controversy Over Guns In Public Places

Aug 27, 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. Now, gun rights activists are criticizing a Sandpoint music festival for banning guns.
Credit Greg Pruett / Facebook

Sandpoint is the latest place in Idaho to get caught up in a growing controversy over guns on public property.

The ongoing county fair flap has moved north and gun rights activists are now targeting a city festival in The Panhandle. These advocates have been calling out fairs for real or perceived policies banning guns this summer. An Idaho law prevents counties and cities from banning guns on public land.

An annual music event called The Festival at Sandpoint has a strict no-guns policy. But Bonner County officials say that violates the law because the festival happens on city land. A lawyer representing the county has sent a letter to Sandpoint’s city attorney challenging the rule.

 

The letter, from D. Colton Boyles, says the law appears to be “a violation of clearly established constitutional and statutory rights and a violation of state and federal due process.”

 

Sandpoint mayor Shelby Rognstad did not return a request for comment.

 

Scott Graf, a spokesman for Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, said it would be inappropriate for the office could not comment on an “ongoing local matter.”

 

So far, the Festival has refused to change its policy. Sandpoint’s city government has ruled that organizers who lease city space can regulate their events, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee.

 

Earlier this year, Idaho Second Amendment President Greg Pruett got the Canyon County Fair to reverse its no-firearms policy after being stopped at security for carrying a handgun. There was a similar controversy in Twin Falls County, though that fair actually did not ban guns.

Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter @HDruzin

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