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ID – GUN RIGHTS – In Gun-Friendly Idaho, Sandpoint Music Festival Pits Property Rights Against Firearms

A gun ban at a popular music festival in North Idaho is splitting the community, leading to a lawsuit between Bonner County and its largest town, Sandpoint. The ban at the Festival at Sandpoint went into effect last year, when the event’s hired security guards began searching bags and turning away people who carried firearms. Gun advocates reacted swiftly, and the county sheriff and commissioners followed suit. Within weeks of the festival, the county sued Sandpoint, which leases War Memorial Field to the nonprofit group that runs the 10-day event. In Bonner County v. City of Sandpoint, the county contends that state law prohibits banning firearms from any public facility other than courthouses, schools and jails. The city disagrees, arguing that by leasing the land to the festival, it effectively cedes control of the public park during the term of the lease. Whatever rules the festival wants to apply during the lease is its decision, not the city’s. Last month, the Sandpoint City Council unanimously approved this year’s lease for the festival. The council has also hired an outside attorney to defend it.  [full article]

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