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Another hearing set in gun lawsuit

Hagadone News Network | August 14, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A hearing has been set on the city of Sandpoint’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by Bonner County over a prohibition of firearms during the Festival at Sandpoint.

First District Judge Lansing Haynes is scheduled to conduct the hearing via videoconferencing on Aug. 25.

Prior competing motions for summary judgment filed by the city and the county remain under review by Haynes, who is expected to issue a written decision.

While the motions were taken under advisement by the court, the city filed a second motion for summary judgment last month which argues that the matter should be dismissed in the city’s favor because the novel coronavirus pandemic derailed this year’s waterfront concert series.

The city’s counsel in the litigation, Coeur d’Alene attorney Peter Erbland, said courts are limited in rendering a declaratory judgment only when there is an actual or justiciable controversy. The city argues the matter is moot because this year’s installment of the Festival has been called off.

Bonner County filed suit against the city last year on grounds that Second Amendment rights cannot be curtailed on public lands in Idaho. The Festival leases War Memorial Field every year to put on the concert series. The Festival began enforcing its longstanding ban against weapons in 2018 in order to satisfy contractual obligations with musical artists who perform during the concert run.

The city said the Festival is within its rights to enact security policies when it leases the facility from the city.


Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.