Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

No Weapons in City Building

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • No Weapons in City Building

    Hello all,

    As you know, several city councils have been throwing around the idea of posting signs and making an ordinance banning everyone from carrying weapons, (Concealed or not concealed) with the exception of law enforcement within their building. (i.e. Council meetings)

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this for several reasons. My question is, aren't they prohibited from passing an ordinance like this under the following section?:

    724.28 Prohibition of regulation by political subdivisions.

    A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5, 1990, is void.


    I told my boss that I didn't think the council could pass it, before I showed him this code section. He said, "Well, the City Attorney said we could and several other places have done it, like Marion." And looked at me like I was an idiot.

    I'm sure I'm missing something and he may be right, but didn't know what you guys thought? Or you guys have experienced.
    Last edited by LPD003; 03-31-2011, 12:40 PM.
    "I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement."
    -Calvin Coolidge

    "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." - Unk

  • #2
    Don't know of any city or county that has passed an ordinance. Many have passed a resolution so their only action can be criminal trespass. The Attorney General has issued a statement (not an opinion) that this could be done. I think that could be challenged...and hope it does.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is in today's Anamosa newspaper that they are having the city attorney research an ordinance for the "public" buildings.

      The city attorney wasn't really to keen on the idea if I read between the lines correctly.

      Originally posted by LPD003 View Post
      I told my boss that I didn't think the council could pass it, before I showed him this code section. He said, "Well, the City Attorney said we could and several other places have done it, like Marion." And looked at me like I was an idiot.
      Marion passed no such ordinance.

      http://easterniowagovernment.com/201...asure-for-now/

      January 20, 2011, 9:01 pm
      By Adam B Sullivan/SourceMedia Group News

      MARION — A move to restrict guns on city property is dead for now.

      Marion City Councilors voted 4-3 at Thursday night’s meeting not to reconsider an ordinance which would disallow gun-carriers from displaying weapons on city property.

      Numerous other localities in Eastern Iowa are considering similar measures after looser gun restrictions took place at the beginning of the year. Under the new law, permit-holders don’t have to conceal their weapons. But many policy-makers in the area say they don’t want anyone waving guns on public property.

      However, Marion City Councilors said they’ll wait to see if the state takes action on the issue.

      “We can come back at a later date and after the state does what they do we will probably reconsider,” Councilor Kay Lammers said.
      Last edited by Iowa #1603; 03-31-2011, 09:15 PM.
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

      Comment


      • #4
        I was sad to see this "Opinion" that was presented to me by our City Attorney. http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...AGOp03_4_1.pdf It's rather lengthy, but it seems as if they can restrict it. I don't know many people who are educated on this topic that would want it. I think it's more of a "guns are bad, so let's just ban them all," type thing. Presumably against my bosses wishes, I think I might go out on a limb and speak in opposition of it at the meeting coming up. I just think they'll make an uneducated decision if they don't think about it very hard... It might be political suicide, but as long as I say, "Before I start, I'd like to make everyone aware that this isn't necessarily the opinion of the department, it is mine alone." Any suggestions? Should I, shouldn't I? I can see them banning open carry, but concealed carry ban too is going to simply just ban the law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and/or the council.

        FYI, I'm an advocate for strict training and better training, but it doesn't seem likely. I think they're going to have them anyway...
        "I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement."
        -Calvin Coolidge

        "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." - Unk

        Comment


        • #5
          They tried in Woodbury county a few hundred locals showed up, it went down in smoke, they tried in Sgt. Bluff, IA again locals and the 185th IA Air Guard wing wrote letter of support for firearms, it went down in smoke.

          All it is going to take is a lawsuit filed or two against the ban proposal and they will give up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LPD003 View Post
            I was sad to see this "Opinion" that was presented to me by our City Attorney. http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/a...AGOp03_4_1.pdf It's rather lengthy, but it seems as if they can restrict it. I don't know many people who are educated on this topic that would want it. I think it's more of a "guns are bad, so let's just ban them all," type thing. Presumably against my bosses wishes, I think I might go out on a limb and speak in opposition of it at the meeting coming up. I just think they'll make an uneducated decision if they don't think about it very hard... It might be political suicide, but as long as I say, "Before I start, I'd like to make everyone aware that this isn't necessarily the opinion of the department, it is mine alone." Any suggestions? Should I, shouldn't I? I can see them banning open carry, but concealed carry ban too is going to simply just ban the law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and/or the council.

            FYI, I'm an advocate for strict training and better training, but it doesn't seem likely. I think they're going to have them anyway...
            It is an Attorney General's OPINION. It has no standing per law. Now realize that the Attorney General is the one that will defend the law when a case goes to the Supreme Court-------well take that as you may.

            What is is going to take is a test case (NO, I DON"T WANT TO BE THE TEST) so the Courts will give a definitive answer. Until that point city councils & county Boards of Supervisors will enact resolutions attempting to keep guns out of public buildings.

            It is not a whole lot different than the controversy surrounding LEOSA and officers carrying off duty. Everyone has an opinion as to who is covered...........but there is no definitive answer because the federal courts haven't ruled on a test case.



            Originally posted by David Hineline View Post
            They tried in Woodbury county a few hundred locals showed up, it went down in smoke, they tried in Sgt. Bluff, IA again locals and the 185th IA Air Guard wing wrote letter of support for firearms, it went down in smoke.

            All it is going to take is a lawsuit filed or two against the ban proposal and they will give up.
            It scares me when I somewhat agree with you David.

            That is what happened in Marion----a LOT of people showed up and the city council backed down. However in Johnson & Benton Co-----even tho there was a lot of support for carrying----(including one of our forum members) the measure passed and we are limited in carrying in those counties.

            Linn County only restricts weapons in the Court House and the New Juvenile Justice center (when it opens) All other county buildings are ok as of now.

            I doubt a lawsuit will help. It is going to take someone being arrested and taking his/her conviction to the Ia Supreme Court.
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 04-01-2011, 08:52 AM.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LPD003 View Post
              It might be political suicide, but as long as I say, "Before I start, I'd like to make everyone aware that this isn't necessarily the opinion of the department, it is mine alone." Any suggestions? Should I, shouldn't I? I can see them banning open carry, but concealed carry ban too is going to simply just ban the law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and/or the council. ..
              If you do----make sure your chief knows in advance. You are not talking political suicide here you might be talking professional suicide if he really is against your speaking out.

              Also make sure you are in civies..........................

              I don't know where you work----or how big the town------but you are going to get a lot of feed back from the people so be prepared.
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              Comment


              • #8
                Got ya. Thanks a ton guys.
                "I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement."
                -Calvin Coolidge

                "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." - Unk

                Comment


                • #9
                  A More Cautious Point of View

                  Let me suggest two things:

                  First, research whether prohibiting weapons in public buildings actually violates 724.28. Don't just go with your gut on this one. Check out case law. Do some research. Find out if the proposed ordinance will meaningfully prohibit ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing within the spirit and intent of 724.28. You may find that the courts have traditionally allowed local government agencies to deny building access to people with weapons.

                  City attorneys usually research such things and make sure they have a sound legal basis before giving such advice as yours did. If you are going to argue that the proposed ordinance will violate 724.28, you need to do your homework as well and make sure you know what you are talking about before getting up and speaking against it.

                  Next, you need to consider the possibility that speaking against the proposed ordinance may represent a professional conflict of interest for you,

                  If your chief supports the ordinance, then for all political purposes.the department supports it. As an employee of the department, you are paid to represent the department's interests and not publicly oppose them. Granted, as a private citizen you have first amendment rights which cannot be abridged. However, even if you qualify your public statement by pointing out that you are speaking as an individual and not as a member of the department, all you are doing is going out of your way to point out that as a member of your department, you oppose something it supports. In short, you are publicly lending the prestige of your position and office to a point of view in opposition of your department, while denying that's what you are doing. It won't fly.

                  The political way around this is to provide all of your research material to a third party who has no affiliation with your department and have them make the presentation. If your first thought is that no one else would have the same impact and prestige as would an off duty police officer from your department, then you can see where the conflict of interest arises.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                    Let me suggest two things:

                    First, research whether prohibiting weapons in public buildings actually violates 724.28. Don't just go with your gut on this one. Check out case law. Do some research. Find out if the proposed ordinance will meaningfully prohibit ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing within the spirit and intent of 724.28. You may find that the courts have traditionally allowed local government agencies to deny building access to people with weapons.

                    City attorneys usually research such things and make sure they have a sound legal basis before giving such advice as yours did. If you are going to argue that the proposed ordinance will violate 724.28, you need to do your homework as well and make sure you know what you are talking about before getting up and speaking against it.

                    Next, you need to consider the possibility that speaking against the proposed ordinance may represent a professional conflict of interest for you,

                    If your chief supports the ordinance, then for all political purposes.the department supports it. As an employee of the department, you are paid to represent the department's interests and not publicly oppose them. Granted, as a private citizen you have first amendment rights which cannot be abridged. However, even if you qualify your public statement by pointing out that you are speaking as an individual and not as a member of the department, all you are doing is going out of your way to point out that as a member of your department, you oppose something it supports. In short, you are publicly lending the prestige of your position and office to a point of view in opposition of your department, while denying that's what you are doing. It won't fly.

                    The political way around this is to provide all of your research material to a third party who has no affiliation with your department and have them make the presentation. If your first thought is that no one else would have the same impact and prestige as would an off duty police officer from your department, then you can see where the conflict of interest arises.
                    L-1

                    This is something that is going to take a court decision to resolve. The tempers are hot all over the state due to the new gun permit law that took effect on 1/1/11.

                    No one is really wanting to be the test case---------------and until that happens the cities are going to rely on the Attorney General's opinion that was obtained by one of the legislators.

                    Right now it is running about 50% or so where the councils and boards of supervisors are listening to public opinion & NOT enacting resolutions..................

                    I relate it to the new controversy with LESOTA and DOD police (yes I know DOA, DON) The amendment was written for them to get them included in the act---then the Army & Navy found some obscure little phrase to deny the officers "arrest powers". Eventually they will sort both out!
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good suggestion and thank you for the time you've put in to your responses. I don't plan on even going to point out the fact that they may or may not have the legal ability to make this decision or enact the ordinance. I'm just going to assume they can.

                      But, I would like to give them examples of what would/could happen if it passes. (i.e. Idiot X is mad at the council. Idiot X is going to prove a point and shoot people in the council chambers. Idiot X KNOWS lawful citizens aren't going to be carrying weapons to deter my agenda. Joe Citizen is a sitting duck and can't protect himself from Idiot X, because he's following the ordinance you passed and left his gun in the car.)

                      I do think having a third party present it would be wise.

                      I did speak to my Chief about it and he doesn't have a problem with me speaking about it and what my opinion is on the matter. He said he's in support of the ordinance, because, "Now we can have an excuse to kick someone out for causing problems and enforce it." Which, doesn't make a lot of sense to me because if they're being disorderly without the ordinance, they can ask them to leave anyway or simply charge them with disorderly. None-the-less, he was very cool about letting me present it. I am going to see if it's possible for someone else to present it, but if nobody will, I'm going to. It just makes little sense to me the reasoning behind it. I think it's more of an uneducated decision on their part.

                      PM me and I'll copy and paste what I've written up to say...
                      "I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement."
                      -Calvin Coolidge

                      "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." - Unk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Remind them of Ralph Davis killing Mayor Ed King an the two council members, Ron DuPree and Jo Anne Sankey who were wounded in Mt Pleasant in December of 1986.
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Will this help?

                          On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, the Benton County Board of Supervisors passed resolution #11-2, Prohibition of Firearms and Dangerous Weapons in and on Benton County Buildings and Property. Iowa Code 724.28 prohibits the board from writing ordinances related to weapons so there is no “patch-work” across the state and all laws and rules are applied equally. The Supervisors chose to create a resolution instead. The resolutions states:
                          “BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that all firearms and other dangerous weapons are prohibited in or on all buildings and property that is owned, leased, or occupied by Benton County, including but not limited to the courthouse, all county office buildings and property outside the courthouse, and with the exceptions previously adopted by the Benton County Conservation Board.
                          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that persons who have a valid professional permit to carry weapons are exempt from this resolution. [emphasis added]
                          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that persons acting in violation of this policy shall be subject to prosecution for criminal trespass.”
                          Those conservation board exceptions are:
                          • Designated hunting areas in county parks during the appropriate hunting seasons.
                          • Registered participants in Hunter Safety classes held at county parks or in county buildings by the Benton County Conservation Board or by other organizations or persons approved by the Conservation Board.

                          Seems simple enough. In fact, County Attorney Dave Thompson was quoted in Vinton Today on January 11 that the new resolution is “user-friendly and gun-right” friendly. But I believe we need to look at the definition of dangerous weapons.
                          702.7 Dangerous Weapons
                          A "dangerous weapon" is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death upon a human being when used in the manner for which it was designed. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the defendant intends to inflict death or serious injury upon the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death upon a human being, is a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to, any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length.

                          Although I admit to being picked up for speeding, I have no other citations, arrests, or convictions. I’m a pretty law-abiding guy. In fact, I’m a former Benton County Deputy Sheriff. This new resolution makes me a criminal if I repeat any of the following scenarios which have actually happened to me.

                          Situation One
                          I am a long-time Boy Scout Leader and continue to be involved in the Scouting program. I became a certified firearms instructor by the Boy Scouts of America several years ago and sought donations to purchase BB Guns and archery equipment for the local Cub Scout pack to start a shooting program. Another leader and I took a group of 9 year-olds to the Izaak Walton shooting range to teach safe gun handling and marksmanship. At the conclusion of the program, we hiked the Dudgeon Wildlife Area. I parked my van next to the county conservation maintenance building while we hiked. If I were to do that today, the boys would be left on the hike alone as I would be arrested for Criminal Trespass for having the BB guns and bows in the vehicle on county property.

                          Situation Two
                          A few years ago, while lawfully hunting, I turned around in the drive of the maintenance building north of Keystone. Obviously, I had an unloaded, cased shotgun in my truck. Today, I would be arrested tor Criminal Trespass since I had a gun in my vehicle on county property.

                          Situation Three
                          I have been a hunter education instructor for over twenty years and served as the Chief Instructor in Benton County for nearly fifteen years. At a class a few years ago, we arranged to shoot in a grassland area east of Vinton, owned by the county. A mother of one of the students had never shot a firearm so I assisted her in firing a muzzleloader. She truly enjoyed that experience but today, since she was not a registered participant in the class, she would be arrested for Criminal Trespass.

                          Situation Four
                          At a boy scout camporee at Hannen Lake, the boys were having a great time fishing and about 20 of the leaders were helping the boys and teaching them how to clean fish. The fillet knives we used have a seven inch blade. Today, we’d all be arrested for Criminal Trespass.

                          Situation Five
                          I am a paramedic and have a “self-obligated” duty to act. A few years ago, I saw a commotion near the benches in the south-west corner of the courthouse lawn. It was apparent that a person was lying on the ground. I happened to be legally carrying a handgun that day, yet I stopped to help until the ambulance arrived. Today, I’d be arrested for Criminal Trespass.

                          Do these incidents and the arrests seem far-fetched? Probably, but the fact is, the resolution passed by the Supervisors is very clear. I’m sure that they would never want to be accused of being arbitrary and capricious so an arrest would be made in the event of any one of these situations.

                          So why the sudden change in policy without public input? According to one of the Supervisors on January 12, “the recent law change has made it very simple for someone to secure a permit”. Just one day before the resolution was passed, Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth was quoted in Vinton Today saying “Benton County has basically been a ‘shall issue’ county for several years”. He went on to say that he has only turned down two applications in the past several years.

                          It can easily be argued that of all the people in the courthouse or on other county property, the people with a permit to carry firearms (Iowa Code 724.8) are the only ones who:
                          • Over age 21
                          • Are not addicted to alcohol
                          • Are not likely to use a weapon unlawfully or in such a manner as would endanger
                          • Are not a felon
                          • Are not adjudicated mentally ill
                          • Are not convicted of domestic abuse
                          • Has not been convicted of serious or aggravated misdemeanor in last 3 years
                          • Has met federal requirements for shipping, transporting, possessing, receiving firearms

                          The Supervisor also stated that “the new law doesn’t afford the county ‘home rule’ in these areas so we are limited as to how we handle foreseen and unforeseen problems.” One “foreseen” problem I see is people who are legally carrying a concealed firearm will now be unarming on the street in front of the courthouse. Certainly this will cause fear in the public when they see a person on the street with a firearm in hand. Another foreseen problem is there is a greater risk for an accidental discharge of that firearm when it is unholstered and being handled. I personally know of three such instances among Benton County peace officers when I was a deputy in Benton County (none of them involving me!).

                          The “unforeseen” problems? In 1997, the state of Oregon had 14,000 residents with permits to carry and only four of them were convicted for being involved in criminal activity (which wasn’t necessarily violent). In 1999, Texas adopted a law similar to the new law in Iowa. They found that those who had a permit to carry a firearms were 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime and 13.5 times less likely to be arrested for a non-violent offense. The City of El Paso, Texas, in 2010, had issued 16,772 permits and only six of those were revoked…and not one was for a violent case.

                          The Supervisor went on to say that there have been “different departments in the courthouse threatened with violence in the recent years along with various disputes relating to court matters”. I fully understand. In fact, I am an Airport Commissioner for the city of Vinton. The Commission took action against a tenant who was not pleased. Several weeks later, the former tenant was at the airport and started a quarrel. As I train in my gun safety classes, I retreated but I was followed. The verbal threats continued and I tried to defuse the problem, as I teach in the class. The former tenant then assaulted me. I simply left the scene, called 911 and the police arrested the perpetrator. I could have drawn my gun but that would have been a very bad choice. I teach that in self-defense, nothing is worth shooting that isn’t worth dying for.

                          The situation could have been much different if the perpetrator had a firearm or dangerous weapon, as I’m sure the Supervisor was alluding to. Had the incident been on county property, being a law abiding person with a permit to carry a weapon and legal right to have a weapon, I would have left it at home. The bad guy, not paying attention to a simple sign or resolution, would not have done the same. A bad outcome, indeed.

                          Continuing, the Supervisor stated that “those wanting to cause violence are going to carry into the courthouse anyway or they probably won’t have even secured a permit…but I believe this is a way to demonstrate to the public that we are serious about making the courthouse a safe place to work and conduct business.”

                          Hmmm. You really think so? How can it be safe when the Supervisors won’t allow trained and vetted permit holders to have a firearm? Why then, is there an armed deputy sheriff in the courthouse if you have a sign posted? That sign should keep the bad guys out, right? I believe not. Look at recent shootings, which may be close to home or in a similar setting. The tragic shooting at the Mt. Pleasant city council meeting with a deranged gunman upset about city policy. I argue that the outcome would have been much different if a trained, vetted permit holder were in attendance that evening. I’d bet lives would have been saved.

                          Or let’s look at the December shooting at a school board meeting in Florida. The custodian, a former police officer, heard the shots and he responded from within the building – gun in hand. Tragedy averted. This entire scenario played out in a matter of seconds…and the police were only minutes away.

                          “We are only exercising our rights as property owners”, said the Supervisor. Who’s rights? Certainly not mine as guaranteed in the second amendment. Not even mine as guaranteed in Article I of the Iowa Constitution:
                          Rights of Persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights—among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.” [emphasis added]
                          Or, Iowa Code 724.7 which says “…permits so issued shall be valid for a period of five years and shall be valid throughout the state except where the possession or carrying of a firearm is prohibited by state or federal law.” [emphasis added]

                          Going on, the Supervisor said that “the resolution was drafted by the county attorney and he stated that it did not conflict with any section of Iowa Code 724.”
                          724.28 Prohibition of regulation by political subdivisions.
                          A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5, 1990, is void.
                          The Code states that a political subdivision shall not enact an ordinance. As stated previously, this section was written to prevent patchwork across the state. Having individual political subdivisions write resolutions certainly conflicts with the intent of the law. The county attorney cited an Attorney General Opinion that is dated April 7, 2003…nearly eight years prior to the new law going into effect which states that a resolution can be passed to prohibit firearms. An Assistant Attorney General wrote a letter on December 29, 2010 suggesting that the former opinion is still valid. The law cited above is silent on dangerous weapons. [emphasis added]

                          Furthermore, “we heard no opposition on the day we took action on the agenda item”. The agenda is posted on the website 24 hours in advance of the meeting. The agenda item was to “adopt a resolution and set dates for ordinance considerations re: Prohibition of Weapons on Courthouse Property. It sure seems that the result of that discussion items resulted in a lot more that prohibiting weapons on courthouse property. It involves all county property. A huge difference and maybe there would have been a better turn-out for the meeting if people were told what was really on the agenda. Unfortunately, I was ill for three days last week so I was unable to attend. If I had not been ill, chances are that I couldn’t attend because I would nit have had time to schedule a vacation day to attend. It appears, according to an article in Vinton Today on January 11, that Will Heber, the county conservation director, was at the meeting and said that there were a couple incidents involving firearms at county parks in 2010. He said he is concerned that letting non-professionals carry weapons could lead to more shootings.

                          I’m guessing here, but I bet there were more than a “couple” incidents involving alcohol, drugs, and criminal mischief in the parks in 2010. What exactly were the “incidents” and what charges were filed? Again, just guessing, but I suspect that the violators did not have a permit to carry and probably would have ignored the resolution or a sign at the park entrance about leaving your guns behind. Quite frankly, I’m more concerned with the 38 registered sex offenders currently in Benton County than I am about any trained, vetted person with a permit to carry.

                          It’s interesting to note that Iowa Code 724.4A already provides for enhanced penalties for any crime committed in a park while armed. Seems to me that it is perhaps a better choice to file criminal charges for a law currently existing than a resolution which may or may not be legal.

                          So does it seem that my case has been made? Not yet. Let’s talk about the legality of the resolution. This proposal contradicts the plain terms of Iowa state law and infringes upon the rights of law-abiding Iowans and our visitors. It appears that there is a lot of reliance on state case law from other jurisdictions which is limited in its scope. It seems these cases are focused on a public entity having a special relationship with the person being regulated such as governing public employees or regulating commercial events on public property.

                          Even the Attorney General’s opinion says that “jurisdiction-wide restriction(s)” would likely be unenforceable and that its exception is “narrowly limited to property owned or directly controlled by the municipality”. It does not articulate where firearms can and can not be banned. Clearly the legislature tried to prevent this activity in the new law.

                          Further, I question if the county has the power to create such a resolution when we look at the General powers and limitations of the Board.
                          331.310 General powers and limitations.
                          1. A county may, except as expressly limited by the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and if not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of the county or of its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort, and convenience of its residents. This grant of home rule powers does not include the power to enact private or civil law governing civil relationships, except as incident to an exercise of an independent county power.
                          5. A county shall substantially comply with a procedure established by a state law for exercising a county power unless a state law provides otherwise. If a procedure is not established by state law, a county may determine its own procedure for exercising the power.
                          6. A county shall not set standards and requirements which are lower or less stringent than those imposed by state law, but may set standards and requirements which are higher or more stringent than those imposed by state law, unless a state law provides otherwise.

                          So how will this be enforced? Signs have been posted on the doors of the courthouse prohibiting firearms and dangerous weapons. Chances are the police department will respond when a call is made to 911 of a person with a gun in the courthouse. Vinton Police Chief Jeff Tilson, when talking about the same signs in businesses, said in Vinton Today on January 13 that “it’s up to the businesses to enforce it”. The police department will take action only if the person with the firearm refuses to leave after being asked.

                          My suggestion to the Supervisors is pretty simple. Follow the lead of Washington County, Woodbury County and the cities of Marion, Kalona and Ft. Madison and rescind the resolution and take down the signs. If you really want to protect the courthouse employees and the public, adopt a resolution which prohibits any person from entering in or on county property before washing their hands. The threat of influenza is much greater than violence with a firearm. Plus the firearm threat can be greatly minimized by allowing trained, vetted permit holders to carry a firearm in and on county property.

                          __________________________________________________ _______________________________________ is a certified firearms instructor and has been teaching firearms safety for twenty-five years. He has received two Governor’s Awards and one Lt. Governor Award for his involvement with firearms safety and was named Iowa’s Outstanding Hunter Education Instructor by Game Conservation International. He is a graduate of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration / Law Enforcement.
                          Last edited by PHChief; 04-01-2011, 07:15 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Woah! So, I can use this???
                            "I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement."
                            -Calvin Coolidge

                            "Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong." - Unk

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              you bet. Also, check out www.IowaCarry.org

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 3478 users online. 205 members and 3273 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 26,947 at 07:36 PM on 12-29-2019.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X