Monday, February 24, 2014

Blaine County Officials Amend County Code on Hunting Near Homes, But State Law Overrules Restriction

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Officials in Blaine County want to tighten a local ordinance to keep hunters from shooting near houses, but Blaine officials are acknowledging that they have little say in the matter given the state of Idaho's limitations on counties' abilities to regulate firearms.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that a number of residents in the Hulen Meadows area are asking for tighter no-shooting boundaries, following the killings of six elk in November 2013 that took place "very close to Hulen Meadows houses."

"It's unsafe," said Spence Browning, according to the Mountain Express. "We just want to protect our homes."

Blaine County code prohibits shooting within 150 yards of a house, but a conflicting piece of county code says shooting can't take place "within 1,000 feet of a house, outbuilding or other area where livestock are concentrated."

Ultimately, Blaine County commissioners voted to amend their county code to maintain the prohibition of shooting within 1,000 feet of a dwelling.

But Idaho State Code 18-3302J limits counties' ability to regulate shooting, particularly when it comes to legal hunting, defense and target practice. Simply put, Blaine County officials said any county rules would be superseded by state law.

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