ISAA Fighting Unlawful Gun Ban in Sandpoint
by Shari Dovale
Under Idaho law, residents cannot be denied their right to keep and bear arms on public property.
The City of Sandpoint made headlines recently with their support of the ‘Festival at Sandpoint’ gun ban at War Memorial Field in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Greg Pruett, President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance (ISAA), was notified by Craig Frick and other 2nd Amendment advocates about the gun ban on the City of Sandpoint’s property. ISAA stepped in and has become very vocal about pursuing recourse against the city if the ban continued.
As Pruett tells us, “Under Idaho Statute 18-3302J, cities are prohibited from enforcing gun bans on public property. If a city doesn’t have the authority to regulate the possession of firearms on public property, then it can’t give authority to a private entity to do so.”
ISAA member Scott Herndon confirmed the ban in the following video:
“We have been challenging gun bans in public places for several years,” Pruett explained. “We have defeated about 60 since 2013, from all across the state.”
Probably a third to a half were cities that had outdated ordinances, stemming from decades past when it was legal for them to do so. There were also cases of signs posted in public parks that ISAA has gotten removed.
However, this is the first case that has gotten to the point of potential litigation. Pruett is steadfast in his belief that “You can lease the property all you want, but you cannot change the nature of the property.”
The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance has hired Alexandria Kincaid to help fight this unconstitutional gun ban. Kincaid is a former prosecutor and elected District Attorney whose firm specializes in firearms law.
The Bonner County Board of Commissioners and the Bonner County Sheriff have confirmed that the City of Sandpoint was in violation of local, state and federal law and are willing to litigate this issue with the city.
Pruett tells us that ISAA will not be joining that lawsuit. They will be filing separately from the county if the city does not change it’s position. “It’s not that I don’t trust the Sheriff and the Commissioners. I know they want to see an end to the ban,” Pruett said. “I just don’t want to wait around for one government agency to go after another government agency.”
Pruett considers any outcome of this case to be a ‘win’. “If we lose, then we are going to go change the law. We want it to say: If you are going to use public property, then you are going to abide by our state constitution.”
Many second amendment advocates are willing to step up and help fight this unconstitutional gun ban. If you would like to help, you can donate through the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.
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