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Posted: 8/23/2017 10:17:06 PM EST
Riverfest is a huge party and fireworks show on both sides of the river near Cincinnati. It is very much like Thunder Over Louisville, but without the air show. It is held on Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Both the City of Cincinnati and the cities of the KY side banned the possession of guns during the celebration, for many years. Finally several activist complained about that gun ban and organized groups of people to open carry around the venues and challenged the cities to enforce their illegal gun bans. One open carrier was stopped by Bellevue Police and handcuffed, but later released without any charges. All of this lead to Cincinnati and most of the KY cities repealing their illegal ordinances and leaving people alone, starting just a few years ago. The City of Bellevue still has an ordinance on their books that makes it a crime to possess a firearm on any city property during Riverfest. That ordinance is Bellevue City Ordinance 99-7-1 and can be seen by clicking Chapter 100 on the left column and then going down to Section 100.19 here:
http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Kentucky/bellevue_ky/bellevuekentuckycodeofordinances?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:bellevue_ky

This ordinance is illegal and unenforceable. Its existence is a violation of KRS 65.870 and the public officials that keep it on the books or that try to enforce it are committing a criminal act. A violation of Bellevue's ordinance is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $250 fine. A violation of KRS 65.870 could be a Class A misdemeanor and could result in a penalty of one year in jail and a $500 fine. On Sept. 2, some people will see if Bellevue wants to enforce their ordinance. There will be open carriers an both sides of the river, but the Ohio crowd has volunteered to walk over to the KY side and stroll around Bellevue for part of the day. It should be interesting to see if the City of Bellevue officials want to attempt to enforce what they know is an illegal ordinance or if they will try to just pretend they don't see any guns during Riverfest. Either of those reactions will be very embarrassing for them.
fnh
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:17:45 AM EST
[#1]
Thank you for bringing this to light softpoint.

It's been many years since I saw the fireworks in Cincinnati but it certainly was a cool sight especially lighting up Riverfront Stadium.

It would be great if B-vue decides to get this removed from their books.
Link Posted: 8/31/2017 4:30:00 PM EST
[#2]
The City Manager of Belleview has responded to KC3 board members and, to avoid a lawsuit, has agreed to repeal the "No Guns at Riverfest" ordinance. This will require readings of the new ordinance at two consecutive City Council meetings. The next meeting is on September 6 and the first reading will be at that meeting, the second reading and final vote to approve the new ordinance will be at the following meeting. Obviously, both of these meetings will be after the Riverfest event. The Bellview Chief of Police has been advised by the City Administrator to instruct all Bellview police officers that the ordinance is illegal and unenforceable. They will be instructed to not stop anyone carrying a firearm, unless there is some other reason to suspect they are involved in criminal activity. KC3 will continue to follow up on this issue until the ordinance is repealed. Any one that encounters problems with carrying a firearm at Riverfest or any other time, in Bellview or any other place in Ky., should contact KC3. Just let me know about it here on this forum. We can't fix 'em, if we don't hear about 'em. For now, it seems like this one has been fixed.
Link Posted: 9/5/2017 5:28:35 PM EST
[#3]
Is there any news on how this went?
Link Posted: 9/5/2017 8:47:36 PM EST
[#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Is there any news on how this went?
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There were about a dozen people open carrying and not a single report of any problems. I invented reasons to ask questions of two Bellevue police officers at two different times, locations and they never blinked or mentioned my FN P45. It could not have gone any better. Now for the repeal of the stupid ordinance. KC3 will be watching that to see that it gets done. That should put an end to this.
Link Posted: 9/13/2017 6:44:02 PM EST
[#5]
UPDATE: Tonight Sept.13 the Bellevue City Council is meeting and the amendment of the Riverfest ordinance (Ordinance 99-7-1) is on the agenda.

http://bellevueky.org/category/meeting-agendas/

The new ordinance can be seen here:

http://bellevueky.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-09-02-Rescinding-Weapon-Provision-in-RIVERFEST.pdf
Link Posted: 10/14/2017 8:32:45 PM EST
[#6]
The Bellevue City Council held a second reading and final vote to repeal the "No Guns at Riverfest" ordinance at their last meeting on Oct. 11. That ordinance is now gone, permanently.
Link Posted: 10/20/2017 9:02:34 AM EST
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The Bellevue City Council held a second reading and final vote to repeal the "No Guns at Riverfest" ordinance at their last meeting on Oct. 11. That ordinance is now gone, permanently.
View Quote
Link Posted: 10/21/2017 4:05:33 PM EST
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The Bellevue City Council held a second reading and final vote to repeal the "No Guns at Riverfest" ordinance at their last meeting on Oct. 11. That ordinance is now gone, permanently.
View Quote
Good job!


(although the asshole side of me finds it somewhat odd that they had to "vote" on whether or not to follow the law... )
Link Posted: 10/21/2017 11:35:10 PM EST
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Good job!


(although the asshole side of me finds it somewhat odd that they had to "vote" on whether or not to follow the law... )
View Quote
I am just glad they did it without more trouble. It's not "odd" in the sense of "unusual" or "strange". These things used to exist everywhere. There was very little that could be done about them. KC3 would approach the violators and explain the law to them and insist that they obey the law and most cities and counties would do it, but if they refused there was nothing we could do. The original preemption law was passed in 1984 and that law had no enforcement provisions. We could sue the city to force them to comply, but even if we won the lawsuit we could not collect anything, not even our attorney's expenses. You can see that could not go on for long. Some of these places would laugh at us. I've had city attorneys dare us to sue them. They knew that we could not afford to sue all 400+ cities and 120 counties in Ky. or even a small fraction of them.

In 2012, we got the General Assembly to give us a little help, by changing the law. Now we can collect our attorney's fees and it costs us nothing if we win. The cities and counties know that we have filed 14 lawsuits and won all that we have filed and collected from each of those cities. Most of them don't want to be #15. The vote by the Bellevue City Council was not whether they should comply with the law. They had already decided that they had to comply with the law and decided that the ordinance would not be enforced and instructed their police dept. that it was not enforceable. The vote was to change the ordinance that was a violation of the law. That is the only legal way to change a city ordinance. If an ordinance is to be changed, a local government has to pass a new ordinance changing it and the only way to pass a new ordinance is to have a vote. The law says that to pass an ordinance, there must be two readings of the new ordinance, one reading at each of two consecutive council meetings, so it will usually take a minimum of two months to take that action. This is the same way that hundreds of them have been changed. So, it really wasn't odd. It was required. The mistake was made in 1999 when the ordinance was first passed. I doubt that any of the present council members were even in office 18 years ago. I doubt that the same political party was in charge of the government in Bellevue 18 years ago. This was just them cleaning up somebody else's mess. Granted, they should have done it in 2012, as the new law requires. They claim they didn't know that it existed. They should know, it's their city. I found it, surely they could have found it, too. They didn't look. They pay a City Attorney to watch out for these kinds of mistakes. He didn't look either. The Ky. League of Cities has told them to look and what to look for. They ignored those warnings. I suspect that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of these things still out there. We fix them as we become aware of them. Anybody that sees any "No Guns Allowed" signs or hears about any "No Guns" policies on local government property should let us know about them. If they are illegal, and they probably are, we can fix them. We have two in the works right now that look like they may end up in court. You'll probably hear about them soon. Every time one of these things is fixed, the other city and county governments hear about it and it makes the next ones easier. I'd like to be able to file twenty new lawsuits before the end of the year.
Link Posted: 10/22/2017 7:44:57 PM EST
[#10]
The vote was to change the ordinance that was a violation of the law. That is the only legal way to change a city ordinance.
View Quote
It still feels a bit weird to me, but I understand where you're coming from.

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