City tables gun ordinance

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:37 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

At its meeting Monday, the Columbia City Council voted to table a proposed ordinance that would have banned concealed weapons in city-owned buildings and affected the possession of guns in city parks.

The current city code does not allow any “deadly or dangerous” weapons in city parks, but the proposal would amend that code to allow concealed handguns to be carried, as long as the owner has a valid permit.

The proposal was tabled by a 5-2 vote; Second Ward Councilman Chris Janku and Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton each voted in favor of addressing the issue anyway.

“It seems absurd to have an ordinance that relates to a law that doesn’t exist,” said Fifth Ward Councilman John John, who made the original motion to table the ordinance in light of the constitutional concerns about the new law.

Hutton remained unconvinced.

“There’s no harm in passing the ordinance anyway,” he said.

City Attorney Fred Boeckmann said the city has no authority to prohibit concealed weapons in parks. The state statute only allows buildings to be free of concealed weapons, he said.

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