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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Chmelik on BLM: ‘They want to help us’

Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador introducing legislation today to transfer 31 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in Idaho County to the county for a gun range – a move the BLM supports. Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik said the county has been pushing for the range for at least six years, since before he took office. “I think it’s a good thing for the county,” he said. “I don’t always see eye-to-eye with the BLM on a lot of issues, but when we do see eye-to-eye, I’m going to try to work together with them and work things out. They want to help us.”

Shooters Welcome Range Reopening

Farragut Hunters in the Idaho Panhandle are happy about the reopening of a local shooting range where they can safely sight in their hunting rifles. The 100-yard range at Farragut State Park reopened to the public on Saturday, June 1. The range is west of Bayview, Idaho between the cities of Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint. The range is administered jointly by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). Itis now open for public shooting the first and third Saturdays of each month through the summer on a first-come, first-served basis.  Hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. There is a $5 range use fee in addition to the Farragut State Park entrance fee.  Firearms are limited to rifles including .22 caliber, centerfire rifles less than .50 caliber, and muzzleloaders up to .54 caliber. For now, no handgun shooting is allowed/News Release, Idaho Department of Fish & Game, via SR Outdoors blog. More here. (Duane Rasmussen file photo: Rich Piazza patches target at Farragut Park shooting range for re-use)

Question: Are you losing sleep re: reopening of Farragut State Park shooting range?

Piazza Tunes Up Hunting Rifle

Former Kootenai County Commissioner Rich Piazza places tape on holes so he can use the same target for a second round of shooting at the Farragut State Park shooting range on reopening day Saturday.  Piazza is working with his large game hunting rifle to ensure accuracy in the field during hunting season.  Piazza frequent hunting trips to locations in Idaho, Alaska, Canada and Colorado and has won blue ribbons in various hunting competitions. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Question: Have you ever shot at a local shooting range?

Farragut shooting range reopening after years-long court fight

The shooting range at Farragut State Park in North Idaho will reopen Saturday morning after a prolonged legal fight; the 70-year-old range has been closed since 2006 after neighboring homeowners sued over noise and errant bullets. This morning, 1st District Judge John Mitchell issued a court order permitting Fish & Game to operate the range, though it will allow only 500 shooter visits per year initially. Mitchell scheduled a court hearing for Sept. 30 to consider allowing more use beyond that; S-R reporter Scott Maben has a full report here.

The injunction shutting down the range was ordered until noise and safety improvements could be made; the state spent $260,000 on improvements, but Mitchell ruled some rounds still could fly out of the range. The Idaho Supreme Court overturned his ruling in November, while leaving it to Mitchell to rule on whether it'd be safe to exceed 500 shooter visits per year.

Farragut Shooting Range To Reopen

The shooting range at Farragut State Park will reopen Saturday after a prolonged legal fight over noise and safety concerns. The range last was used in the fall 2006, and has been closed under a court injunction since 2007 while nearby homeowners pursued a lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Fish and Game over firearms noise and the danger of errant bullets. Last November the Idaho Supreme Court lifted an injunction that has kept the shooting range closed since early 2007, and this morning First District Judge John Mitchell signed an order allowing Fish and Game to operate the range again. The agency, however, is limited to 500 total range visits a year/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Thoughts?

Idaho Supreme Court orders Farragut shooting range reopened, overrules lower court

In a victory for sport shooters, the Idaho Supreme Court today lifted an injunction that has kept the Farragut State Park shooting range closed for almost six years; you can read our full report here from S-R reporter Scott Maben. The decision will permit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to reopen the Farragut range to as many as 500 shooters a year, and possibly more than that if a district court judge determines noise and safety concerns have been addressed.

You can read the court's unanimous decision here, which was written by Justice Jim Jones. It also reversed a district judge's finding that a 2008 law, the Idaho Outdoor Sport Shooting Range Act, was unconstitutional; the law was passed in part to protect the Farragut range from the ongoing lawsuit from neighbors challenging it on safety and nuisance grounds. The state Department of Fish & Game appealed the lower court's ruling; the court sided with the department, and against the neighbors.
  

Court: Farragut Range Can Reopen

In this Oct. 15,2010. SR file photo, Dave Leptich, of Idaho Fish and Game discussed improvements of the shooting range at Farragut State Park. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

In a victory for sport shooters, the Idaho Supreme Court today lifted an injunction that has kept the Farragut State Park shooting range closed for almost six years. The decision will permit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to reopen the Farragut range to 500 shooters per year, and possibly more than that if a district court judge determines noise and safety concerns have been addressed. The Supreme Court also reversed a district judge’s finding that the Idaho Outdoor Sport Shooting Range is unconstitutional/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree?