Festival intervenes in lawsuit

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SANDPOINT ó Counsel for the Festival at Sandpoint are entering the legal fray between Bonner County and the city over a prohibition against firearms at the annual waterfront concert series.

The Festivalís counsel, Coeur díAlene attorney Arthur Bistline, filed a motion to intervene in the litigation on Oct. 29, a motion which drew no objection from Peter C. Erbland, an attorney representing the city in the matter, 1st District Court records indicate.

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and the county sued the city for injunctive relief to prevent the city from enforcing the firearms ban at Memorial Field during the Festival.

The city has defended the Festivalís right to draw up security policies when it rents the city facility each summer for the two-week concert series. Event officials said the firearms ban was in place due to contractual obligations of artists who perform during the Festival.

Idaho law forbids the infringement of Second Amendment rights on public property, although the city contends that prohibition can be waived when the facility is leased to the nonprofit Festival.

County commissioners said they filed the litigation in response to complaints from residents who say their safety is jeopardized if they cannot defend themselves in the event of mayhem at the concert series.

A status conference in the case is set for Nov. 26 at the Bonner County Courthouse.

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

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