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House Bill 396 — Public Shooting Range Fund

House Bill 396 — Public Shooting Range Fund

Parrish Miller
February 13, 2020

Bill description: HB 396 establishes the State Public Shooting Range Fund.

Rating: -2

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector?

HB 396 gives the Fish and Game Commission the duty of developing, operating and maintaining land for "public shooting ranges to provide places where the public may engage in target shooting, training, and competition."

Additionally, HB 396 instructs the commission to "enter into agreements with and assist counties, cities, recreation districts, other political subdivisions, and nonprofit clubs or associations in locating or relocating shooting ranges."

Expanding the commission's duties means expanding government, and it puts it in direct competition with private shooting ranges.


HB 396 creates Section 36-418, Idaho Code, entitled "Public Shooting Range Fund" and establishes multiple funding sources. It also declares, "Distributions from the fund may be made to shooting ranges open to the public and operated by government or nonprofit entities." Once again, this puts the government in direct competition with private, for-profit shooting ranges.


Analyst's Note: HB 396 repeals Section 36-412A, Idaho Code, which allows the state to distribute up to $125,000 per year "for local shooting ranges." These funds are derived from "fines and forfeitures remitted for violations of fish and game laws pursuant to section 19-4705, Idaho Code." While this repeal, on its own, would merit a positive rating, creating Section 36-418, Idaho Code, reinserts all of the negatives of the repealed section and expands upon them significantly. 

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