Delaware city councilman calls for lift of state's ban on concealed carry in public buildings

by Chad D. Baus

In the wake of a shooting at Florida school board meeting, and the mass shooting in Arizona that accompanied as assassination attempt against U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Delware, Ohio city councilman is says it's time that the statewide ban on concealed carry in public buildings be lifted.

From the article:

Delaware City Council members this week discussed security measures for Delaware's public officials.

Council met Monday, Jan. 10, and began its meeting with Councilwoman Lisa Keller's invocation, which included a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the shooting, as well as for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head but is expected to survive.

Giffords had been hosting an event at a Tucson supermarket Saturday, Jan. 8, when 22-year-old Jared Loughner allegedly began his shooting spree.

In light of these events, Delaware Councilman Andrew Brush encouraged council members to be proactive and to take precautions.

"We are all sitting ducks here," he said. "People can come and go as they please. We have no security here during meetings."

Delaware city buildings do not allow concealed weapons, with signs posted throughout the buildings indicating the no-gun policy.

City spokesman Lee Yoakum said Ohio revised code bans firearms in public buildings.

Brush suggested the ban on concealed weapons be revoked.

"No sign that says 'no gun' will stop a lunatic from coming in and wreaking havoc," Brush observed. "Concealed weapons should be allowed to come in these public buildings. We shouldn't be at risk during these meetings."

The article goes on to say that in addition to the call for the statewide ban on concealed carry in public buildings to be lifted, the council members also discussed the idea of having a police officer present for every meeting.

Again, from the article:

Keller agreed there have been occasions when she thought it would have been best to have security personnel present.

She recalled a meeting last year during which an irate resident approached council member Joe DiGenova.

"If that man wanted to do harm, he could have caused damage before the police had a chance to get here," Keller said.

Councilwoman Carolyn Riggle said she also understands the need for security.

"Speaking as someone who has been threatened at her home, I understand these threats are serious," she said.

Mayor Gary Milner also agreed precautions may be necessary.

The following video captures the critical moment in a recent incident where a man brought a gun into a Florida school board meeting, clearly unconcerned that doing so was illegal.

The ban on concealed carry in the Delaware city council chamber, and in nearly all other public buildings across the state, was imposed in 2004 when the state's original concealed carry law took effect. It will take a legislation at the state level to lift the ban.

The vast majority of multiple victim public shootings occur in places where guns are banned. Buckeye Firearms Association joins Councilman Brush in his call for the state to remove the ban on concealed carry in public buildings.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.


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