City officials intend to make an open carry code less confining, but the practice still will be prohibited at the city park.
City Administrator Russell Rost said the city’s ordinance governing the open carry of firearms is now too restrictive.
He explained that the new law will be rewritten, but still will prohibit the open carry of weapons in city buildings at the park.
“Our current ordinance does not allow open carry anywhere in the city limits,” he said. “If a guy decides to go turkey hunting and takes his gun to his car, he technically would be in violation of an old ordinance — it’s way too restrictive.”
Police Chief Norman Brune said the current ordinance prohibits someone from showing another person any type of weapon “in their backyard.”
Rost said he will work with City Attorney Tim Melenbrink and Brune to write a new less restrictive law.
During the personnel, finance and public works committee meeting Monday, aldermen agreed to continue to prohibit openly carried firearms in city buildings at city parks.
“I have no problem with a lot open carry in places but not the park,” said Alderman Dustin Bailey. “I liken the city park to a school which is designed for kids and families.”
According to Rost, the organizer of a Second Amendment rally rented a park pavilion facility with the intention of holding an event in August where some people would openly carry guns.
Last year there was a similar event held in October which was allowed by city leaders.
Rost explained that the park is more populated in August and attendees will not be allowed to openly carry weapons this year.
“The swimming pool will be open and the park will have a lot more going on,” he said. “He can have the event, but the open carry part will not be allowed.”
Allowing the open carry of places is not allowed in many city parks, according to Rost, explaining that the rally was held in Union last year, in aprt, because most cities specifically bad open carrying in parks.
“They were calling other cities before they called us,” he said.
There will not be a total ban of open carrying of firearms on all city property because that would include city streets and parking lots., Rost said.
Changes to the ordinance will not affect the conceal and carry law, Rost added. He said that city code mirrors state statute.
He noted that property owners still can prohibit firearms on their property and their businesses.