PAYETTE COUNTY — While gun control has been a major hot-button topic in the 21st century, one would be wise to keep in mind that laws exist to regulate other types of weaponry as well. Across Payette County, cities have their own specific laws on specific choices of weapons. Following is a sample of laws from across the county, as obtained by the newspaper.
Under Fruitland City Code 5-3-2.C, air guns, sparrow guns, flippers, slingshots and similar devices are not allowed to be discharged within city limits.
Regarding concealed weapons, 5-3-2.B states that unless an individual is a retired law enforcement officer or is otherwise exempt under Idaho Code, concealed bowie knives, pistols, cane swords, slingshots, brass/metallic knuckles, shortened guns or any dangerous or deadly weapon that can be carried in such a way that it cannot be readily observed or identified are prohibited.
As previously reported by the newspaper, citizens could be charged with a misdemeanor for discharging a weapon in self-defense prior to Sept. 2014. The Idaho Second Amendment Coalition worked with then-Mayor Ken Bishop that month to add self-defense wording to 5-3-2.A, which went into effect through a modification of city Ordinance 587.
In an email dated Sept. 3, Police Chief J.D. Huff reminds newcomers to Fruitland to be familiar with the do’s and don’ts of the city’s weapons laws, among other things.
“I would suggest that current residents and those who are moving to the City of Fruitland make themselves familiar with our entire City Code. I would have a similar suggestion for those moving into any new jurisdiction.”
The city of New Plymouth not only requires permits for use of bows and arrows, blowguns and darts within city limits, but also may ask you to show proof of insurance. Under New Plymouth Municipal Code 6-5-5, it is “unlawful for any person to discharge or shoot an arrow from any bow or discharge a dart, pellet or other projectile from a blowgun or a dart gun in the City limits without first securing a permit from the City.” This law was enacted through Ordinance 233 in 1997.
Section 6-5-7 allows issuing authority to collect a signature from the applicant which indemnifies the city against damage caused by use of bows and arrows, as well as requiring the applicant to show proof of insurance in an amount not exceeding $100,000. The insurance requirement came about in 1982.
In an email on Sept. 1, Payette Police Chief John Plaza shared that laws exist for two specific types of weapons.
“The Payette City Code prohibits shooting bows or compound bows in the city limits,” wrote Plaza. “It also prohibits airguns, including paintball guns, from being shot in the city limits without a permit.”
Bows were outlawed in the city in 1992 [Payette City Code 9.62.020], while permits started being required for paintball in 2005 [9.62.030].
“I don t know who introduced them, but would infer there was a problem with the safety of said weapons systems to inspire the city council to adopt these ordinances,” added Plaza.
Plaza said he believes in these laws as a means of keeping the public safe, noting “using [these weapons] in the city is problematic.”
In an email dated Sept. 2, Payette County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Creech said there are no countywide ordinances pertaining specifically to weapons, including firearms.
The city of New Plymouth contracts with the Payette County Sheriff for police services within city limits, while the cities of Fruitland and Payette maintain their own police forces.