BUHL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance called on community members to write to the Buhl City Council this weekend to change part of city code.
The part they are trying to get changed is Title Four, Chapter Three article B which says that it is unlawful for anyone to discharge a weapon in city limits. It does have the exception for law enforcement if it is part of their line of duty. The ISAA says that it should have an exception for self defense of any citizen.
That is because Idaho State Law allows for self defense in Title 18, Chapter 33, or 18-3302J. It says that while cities and counties may adopt regulations and restrictions they cannot affect a number of things, one of which is: "A person discharging a firearm in the lawful defense of person or persons or property."
The ISAA reached out to the Buhl City Council to try and change that part of code and have the self defense exception added, but did not get a response in the affirmative. So they took to social media and posted flyers in Buhl asking community members to respectfully contact members of the City Council and request the exception.
Greg Pruett, the ISAA president, said in a phone interview that this is essentially a "paper change," as it is unlikely anybody would be convicted for using a gun in self defense.
Grant Loebs, the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney said that it wouldn't be illegal in Buhl to defend yourself or property in a legitimate way because state law would trump city ordinance. Because of this he said that while the ISAA is technically correct in pointing out the discrepancy, it doesn't really matter.
But still they would like to see a change made.
“That’s simply what they’re doing right now is trying to get the Buhl City Council to change their code to match state law on this," said Ryan Horsley, an ISAA member and owner of Red's Trading Post in Twin Falls.
Pruett said they have contacted 45 or 46 cities and counties in Idaho to ask they make changes to their ordinances to be more compliant with state law in the last few years, mostly with success.
Loebs also said that this is a relatively new state law on the issue, which may be where the differences come from.
Tom McCauley, Buhl's mayor, said they will put the issue on the agenda for an upcoming meeting, declined to comment any further.