The Idaho Supreme Court has made an anti-2nd Amendment opinion that should be a warning to gun owners in all states, especially red ones.
In 2019, State Sen. Scott Herndon from Idaho (not a State Sen. at the time) and Jeff Avery went to the “Festival at Sandpoint” in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Festival at Sandpoint is also the name of the non-profit organization who got a temporary “lease” from the city of Sandpoint for a public city park to put on a music festival.
Herndon and Avery were both denied entry into the event when both tried to attend the event open carrying.
Idaho has what is commonly called a firearm preemption law.
Nearly all states have a form of this law, which prohibits cities and counties from enacting their own firearm regulations. This means that the state controls any firearm regulations that pass.
The purpose of these laws are to ensure that there isn’t a patchwork of firearm laws throughout the state, and in the case of red states, the purpose is to protect the right to keep and bear arms from liberal cities and counties infringing on the right.
Herndon, Avery, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, and the Second Amendment Foundation sued the city of Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint, citing violations of the 2nd Amendment and the firearm preemption law.
The ISAA/SAF argued that if the city did not have the authority to regulate firearm possession in public parks, they didn’t have the power to give that authority to a private party.
A northern district judge ignored the pleadings of gun owners and sided with the city. The ISAA/SAF then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court to correct the issue.
However, in a shocking 5 to 0 opinion from Idaho’s top court, they essentially re-wrote Idaho’s law by saying that a private party can ban guns on public property simply by getting a temporary “lease” or “permit.“
Under the Idaho Supreme Court’s opinion, nothing would stop a liberal mayor, such as Boise’s Lauren McLean, from have a non-profit set up to run Boise’s public parks. That non-profit could then ban firearms in all public parks in the city.
Additionally, Idaho’s gun owners now have no idea if a property owned by the public, begins banning firearms, if they have done so according to the Idaho Supreme Court’s opinion, or if they are just doing so regardless. Gun owners will have to demand the lease and other information to try and determine all of that on their own, rather than relying on Idaho’s state law.
The major concern for gun owners in other states is, if Idaho’s Supreme Court made this major of an anti-gun opinion, your state could be next.
If gun grabbers in states like Wyoming, Florida, or Texas figure out what has happened in Idaho, they are likely to push the same issue. Then, on appeal, the highest courts in those states could look to Idaho’s bad Supreme Court opinion for guidance.
Firearm preemption laws have been a critical protection of the right to keep and bear arms, and have been monumental in keeping gun owners out of jail.
What do you think of the Idaho Supreme Court opinion on the firearm preemption law? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: The author, Greg Pruett, is the President of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.