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Weapons ordinance to get vote tonight

Legal guns would be banned from city-owned buildings but not parks.
Monday, October 20, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:51 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

While the new law to carry concealed guns is still on hold, Columbia is drawing closer to banning guns from city-owned buildings.

A proposed ordinance is scheduled for a second reading and a vote at tonight’s city council meeting, which is being held at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Boone City Building.

In accordance with the new state law that allows certifide Missouri residents to carry concealed weapons, municipalities are allowed to decide whether to restrict that right in city buildings.

The law is on hold after a St. Louis Circuit Court judge blocked it from taking effect earlier this month. An Oct. 23 hearing will decide whether to impose a permanent injunction against the law.

Second Ward Councilman Chris Janku says he will vote for the ordinance because it is “appropriate for the city.”

As part of the ordinance, citizens with a valid permit would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in city parks. Currently, Columbia city ordinances do not allow “deadly or dangerous weapons” to be carried, discharged or brandished in any park.

In order to agree with new state law, “deadly or dangerous weapons” would be amended to mean “any weapon other than a firearm.” Concealed firearms would be permitted in parks as long as the owner has an appropriate permit.

Sixth Ward Councilman Brian Ash said he will most likely support the ordinance. “Everything seems pretty reasonable to me,” he said.

Ash also said he isn’t concerned with allowing concealed weapons in city parks.

“This is almost just bookkeeping; we’re changing a city ordinance to be in accordance with state law,” he said. “I don’t see (weapons in parks) becoming a big issue; it’s not a major policy shift in my eyes.”


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