Longmont City Council finalizes gun ban
But city will re-evaluate bans on open space and employee weapons
By Nissa LaPoint Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 07/13/2010 10:02:51 PM MDT
In a final 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the Longmont (CO) City Council banned the open carrying of firearms in city buildings.
The ban was suggested after Second Amendment advocate Paul Tiger showed up at a council meeting with a handgun holstered to his hip. Tiger, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to menacing a traffic-control flagger with a gun, intimidated employees, City Manager Gordon Pedrow said.
"Unless open carry is prohibited, we have no way of preventing intimidation from happening," Pedrow said before Tuesday's vote.
Tiger did not return a phone call Tuesday from the Camera.
But Longmont police Cmdr. Tim Lewis said other incidents have intimidated city employees, too.
"This has been happening before Paul Tiger came into the picture," he said.
Lewis said he's seen people walk into the police department with a rifle and set it in front of employees on the counter.
"It's constitutional. It's legal," he said. "But is forcing your employees to endure that behavior what you really want in a work environment?"
But council member Katie Witt questioned the timing of the ordinance, saying it would have been more logical to enact after Sept. 11, 2001.
"For the good or ill, our civic center is a symbol of our government, and people should expect to be able to exercise their rights," Witt said.
She voted against the ordinance, along with Mayor Bryan Baum.
"I don't think this ordinance gives you any more teeth than you already have," Baum said.
Because cities don't have the authority to regulate where holders of concealed-carry permits can bring their guns, people can still carry concealed weapons in most public buildings.
At Baum's request, the council agreed to re-evaluate its existing bans on city employees bringing guns to work, whether openly or concealed, and on the open carrying of weapons on open space.
Read more: Longmont City Council finalizes gun ban - Boulder Daily Camera http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_15509343#ixzz0uF2b8rql