Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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The Idaho Supreme Court Thursday, November 15, lifted an Idaho First District Court injunction that had blocked the opening of Idaho Fish and Game's upgraded Farragut shooting range.
"We're pleased with the Idaho Supreme Court's ruling," Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore said. "This decision will once again allow public access to the Farragut range as a safe place to practice shooting sports, sighting-in activities for hunting season, and firearms education through hunter education and other programs."
Fish and Game has invested considerable resources to renovate shooting areas at the historic Farragut shooting range to improve safety and reduce noise. The Supreme Court concluded that Fish and Game complied with safety requirements to open a renovated part of the range for up to 500 shooters per year.
The District Court's original ruling did not allow Fish and Game to present safety evidence to reopen the range for more than 500 shooters. As a result, the Supreme Court also sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings to consider the range's compliance with requirements for reopening the range for more than 500 shooters per year.
The Supreme Court also found noise and other standards adopted by the Idaho Legislature in 2008 for Farragut and other state outdoor sport shooting ranges to be constitutional, reversing the District Court's ruling.
Though the Supreme Court has lifted the court injunction to allow up to 500 shooters on the range per year, the range will not open immediately to public use. The range traditionally has been closed in the winter.
Idaho Fish and Game will keep the public apprised of the opening date, as well as use limits for the range. Fish and Game is coordinating with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, which controls range access through the adjacent Farragut State Park, on range operating plans.