The Idaho Supreme Court will hear a Second Amendment case tomorrow morning, stemming from a dispute over possession of firearms at a Sandpoint park.
The Festival at Sandpoint, a 501c3 “public charity” according to their website, the organization that hosts a music event in Sandpoint each year, banned the possession of firearms at its 2019 event held at War Memorial Field.
Two complaints have been filed against the City of Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint.
The first was Bonner County and Sheriff Daryl Wheeler filing a complaint in First District Court alleging that the organization (Festival at Sandpoint) did not have the right to deny entry to a public park in regard to possession of a firearm.
The city explained in a press release dated June 1, 2021,
“In the earlier case filed by Bonner County and Sheriff Daryl Wheeler against the City of Sandpoint, the City and County agreed to a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal. Under that agreement, Bonner County paid the City of Sandpoint $71,206.55 as ordered by Judge Lansing Haynes of the First Judicial District Court, Bonner County, Idaho in his written decision issued September 2, 2020. Judge Haynes found in favor of the City of Sandpoint concluding that Bonner County and Sheriff Wheeler lacked standing to bring the case before the Court.”Advertisement
Because the court determined that the county and the Sheriff did not have legal standing to bring the case, a second complaint was filed. This came from Plaintiffs/Petitioners Scott Herndon (a now sitting Idaho Senator representing Legislative District 1), Jeff Avery, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, Inc., and the Second Amendment Foundation, Inc.
The same press release (seen below) explains,
“Judge Lansing Haynes of the First Judicial District Court, Bonner County, Idaho, has issued his written decision in the second lawsuit brought against the City of Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint, regarding the Festival’s ban on firearms possession at its 2019 Festival.Advertisement
The petitioners in this case (Scott Herndon, Jeff Avery, Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, and Second Amendment Foundation), filed a civil complaint on May 29, 2020 containing six claims. The Court heard oral arguments from all parties on April 26, 2021. In his decision issued today, Judge Haynes found in favor of the City of Sandpoint and Festival at Sandpoint on all claims.”
After Judge Haynes found in favor of the City of Sandpoint, the Plaintiffs/Petitioners appealed the case to the Idaho Supreme Court. Oral arguments will be heard there tomorrow morning, February 6, 2023 beginning at 8:50 am. You can listen to the proceedings here: Idaho in Session Judiciary (idahoptv.org)
Greg Pruett, President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance recorded this video ahead of the oral arguments in the Idaho Supreme Court:
Pruett told the Idaho Dispatch,
“We are excited that gun owners will finally have their day in court. We obviously don’t know what the Justices will determine about this issue in the end, but the judge in northern Idaho didn’t even hear our side of the argument. The law is on our side, and our hope is that the Idaho Supreme Court will do the right thing and find that Idaho’s preemption law, along with the 2nd Amendment, were violated by the city of Sandpoint and The Festival at Sandpoint.
If the Justices come down on the wrong side of this issue, gun owners are going to have to make immediate demands for the legislature to fix this issue before gun grabbing mayors across the state start using private entities to enforce their desired gun control measures.”
Idaho Dispatch requested comment from the City of Sandpoint regarding the case going before the Idaho Supreme Court. We will update this article if a response is received.
Tags: 2A, Bonner County, Festival at Sandpoint, Greg Pruett, Gun Rights, Guns, Idaho Supreme Court, ISAA, ISC, Jeff Avery, SAF, Sandpoint, Scott Herndon, Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, The Festival at Sandpoint