Tomorrow morning the Idaho Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from Scott Herndon regarding a 2nd amendment lawsuit against the City of Sandpoint at 7:50am Pacific on Idaho Public Television. Herndon’s complaint is that a private party, Festival at Sandpoint, were leasing public grounds but prevented citizens who were open carrying firearms from attending the event.
Herndon’s argument is that the City of Sandpoint was in violation of Idaho’s “Preemption Laws” which are an unique feature in Idaho law that explicitly prevents city or county governments from creating any kind of new gun laws.
The City of Sandpoint’s argument is that they weren’t responsible for enforcing the “no firearms” policy at the outdoor concert, but since Festival at Sandpoint is a private party they allegedly had legal authority to enforce a “no gun” policy.
The crux of the legal argument is whether local governments can confer private parties the ability to exercise their own unique rights on public grounds while under the terms & conditions of an event permit. There are some problems with this viewpoint as private rights are actually non-enumerated (e.g., not specific nor explicit), and therefore very expansive. By definition, this would give license to private parties to momentarily divorce the relationship between the tax-paying public and their own public property which they all hold a collective interest in. This idea should seem absurd on the face of it.
Private parties should rightly have their own rights delimited by each and every private citizen while using public property.