BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation teamed up the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance to file a lawsuit against the City of Sandpoint, Idaho challenging a ban on the legal carrying of firearms at a public park during an event sponsored by the Festival at Sandpoint, Inc.
SAF is joined by the ISAA, and two private citizens as plaintiffs. They are represented by attorneys Alexandria C. Kincaid of Emmett, Idaho and Donald E. Kilmer of Caldwell, Idaho. The complaint was filed in the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in Bonner County. Both the City Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint, Inc. are named as defendants. The case is known as Herndon v. City of Sandpoint.
The lawsuit alleges a “faulty delegation of police power from the City of Sandpoint to a non-profit corporation” in violation of both the Idaho Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, both of which recognize and protect the right to keep and bear arms.
Because the city leases War Memorial Field Park to the Festival at Sandpoint, Inc., every August, the lawsuit contends this is a “delegation of power” the city doesn’t really have. The Festival group bans the possession and carrying of firearms at the annual event, either openly or concealed. The park is public property, and during previous events, visitors have carried firearms in accordance with state law. Last year, however, plaintiffs Scott Herndon and Jeff Avery were denied entrance to the park. When they asked what authority allowed the festival to impose a ban, they were threatened with a criminal trespass violation.
“No municipal government should ever turn over regulatory authority to a private group, no matter what the issue, especially when the government’s authority doesn’t exist in the first place,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This sort of abuse of power needs to be nipped in the bud. Herndon and Avery have the law, and the constitution, on their side regardless what these festival organizers might believe.”
The lawsuit contends the rights of gun owners are violated under Idaho Preemption, the Second, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments. SAF and its fellow plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against the defendants.