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FIREARMS ORDINANCE REVIEW 6-6-12 LMS

A request by the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce has triggered a review of the city’s ordinance against the discharge of firearms within city limits.

At the June 6th meeting of the Salmon City Council, Chamber President Charleane Hermosillo requested the city’s permission for the chamber to host a fast-draw, wax bullet, shooting competition during this year’s Salmon River Days.

She said the Cowboy Fastdraw Association travels at no charge to events and holds fast draw, shooting from the hip competitions. Competitors wear the appropriate 1860’s attire associated with the fast draw era. The ammunition used for the single action .45 Colt revolvers is made of wax. Hermosillo said that once the bullets hit the safety nets they can be caught in your hand without causing any damage. The competition is held in a confined, netted area and the association carries its own insurance.

Hermosillo said she was aware there is no way to amend the city’s firearms ordinance in time for the 4th of July event but she would like the council grant permission for this competition to take place and to consider adding some exceptions to the code for probable future events.

The city’s ordinance reads, “It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm of any kind or description including air rifles, BB guns and pellet guns within the limits of the city or upon premises or property owned or controlled by the city.” It is also stated in the ordinance that it does not apply to police officers in the performance of their duties.

Hermosillo supplied copies of ordinances used by other cities that outline exceptions and permits for special events.

Salmon City Police Chief KV Felker reminded the council of last year’s proposed black powder event which, in view of the city’s ordinance, was advised against by city’s insurance provider which is the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP).

The first step for the city will be a phone call to ICRMP and if they approve the fast-draw competition Felker said he would have no problem with the event being held.

The ordinance discussion brought up the question of a previous request for a paint ball event and that will also be checked with ICRMP.

The question remained as to whether, under the ordinance in place, the city would have the legal authority to grant an exception. Research into legalities was initiated and an answer will be provided at the council’s June 20th meeting.


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