Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Labrador’s Idaho County shooting range bill passes the House

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador's bill to transfer 31 acres in the Riggins area from federal to Idaho County ownership for a shooting range passed the House late Tuesday on a voice vote. To become law, it still needs Senate passage and the president's signature; click below for Labrador's full news release on the bill's passage. Labrador, who said the federal Bureau of Land Management backs the move, said, “Given the broad support, I’m hoping the Senate will move quickly to pass this bill.” It's the third Labrador bill to pass the House.



The measure is the third Labrador bill to pass this Congress


WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill introduced by Raúl Labrador, H.R. 5040, the Idaho County Shooting Range Land Conveyance Act, passed the U.S. House late Monday. The bill would convey 31 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to Idaho County for use as a shooting range.

For years, Idaho County commissioners have sought to acquire the parcel in the Riggins area which has been informally used by sportsmen and women. Cumbersome federal regulations blocked the transfer to Idaho County, even though the Bureau of Land Management supported the idea.

Rep. Labrador and his staff worked closely with both the BLM and the Idaho County Commission to develop a bill to finally resolve the issue and develop a management plan. Idaho County is the state’s largest; of its 5.4 million acres, 4.5 million acres are owned by the federal government. The County Commission has agreed to manage the 31 acres as a shooting range and work closely with law enforcement to maintain the site.

“In a county full of guns that is 83 percent managed by the federal government, we’re excited at the very real prospect of our first public shooting range,” said County Commissioner Skip Brandt. “We’re very appreciative of Congressman Labrador’s willingness to chase this down.”

“I’m grateful to all who’ve helped in this effort to establish a safe location for essential training by law enforcement and recreational firearms use by civilians,” Labrador said. “Given the broad support, I’m hoping the Senate will move quickly to pass this bill.”

The gun range measure is the third bill authored by Labrador that has passed the House during the 113th Congress.

Labrador’s H.R.657, the Grazing Improvement Act, would extend livestock grazing permits on federal lands from 10 to 20 years, giving ranchers the certainty to boost operations and local economies. The bill addresses a backlog in processing renewals by extending permits under existing terms. It also offers regulatory relief and would discourage frivolous lawsuits.

The third bill, H.R. 1294, is titled the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act. It would establish pilot community forest projects of about 200,000 acres, totaling up to 4 million acres nationwide. Local governments would manage the land in accordance with state laws. The result would be responsible production, creation of rural jobs and reduced wildfire risk.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: