Judge rules in Sandpoint’s favor in Wheeler lawsuit

Judge Lansing Haynes of the First Judicial District Court, Bonner County, issued his written opinion on the court case brought by Bonner County and Sheriff Daryl Wheeler against the City of Sandpoint regarding the Festival at Sandpoint’s ban on firearms possession or display at its 2019 Festival.

The Court found in favor of the City of Sandpoint concluding that “Plaintiff lacks standing to bring this matter before the Court …”

City officials extend the following statement in response to the Court decision:

“We are pleased with the decision of Judge Haynes. It has been the position of the City from the very beginning that the County and Sheriff Wheeler did not have standing in this matter.

The County and Sheriff Wheeler have continually misrepresented the policy of the City and statements made by city officials throughout this proceeding. The Sandpoint Police Department did not enforce the gun ban during the Festival and the City of Sandpoint does not have a policy restricting the public from carrying guns on public property.

Furthermore, the suggestion that members of our community on either side of this disagreement would resort to a violent protest or “riot” at a possible future Festival at Sandpoint production is offensive. That is not who we are.

The City will be filing a motion with the Court to consider ordering the County to pay the City taxpayer’s legal fees which exceed $80,000 to-date.”

The six page judgment can be read here.