YDR Opinion: City Council should be able to ban guns at meetings

I’ve been wanting to revive the Gun Toting Journalist blog since the first of the year but decided to hold off until the emotional fury over the tragic events in Arizona calmed down.  The resulting drive for more gun control was just to be expected out of the anti-gun crowd, with their ever senseless idea that more gun control is going to stop criminals from obtaining and using firearms.

Anyway,  the shooting in Arizona has resulted in a hysteria around the country that has elected officials of all levels of government concerned about their safety. At a recent MLK event, a local mayor had a police presence. I won’t go so far to say the uniformed officer was her body guard, but the said officer stood within a few feet of the Mayor for the entire event.

The hysteria in doesn’t end here. A local councilwoman is trying to buck the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act by calling for a ban firearms from City Council meetings  (See the York Daily Record Opinion article here:  http://www.ydr.com/ci_17187426).

Aside from isolated incidents like the Florida school board shooting,  city council, school board and other ‘public’ meetings are peaceful.  These meeting have the same risk of having an crazed gunman as does any public event, but statistically, the threat of a serious incident is next to nothing.

From a legal and financial standpoint, trying to pass such laws are a waste of taxpayer money.  According to the UFA, only the Commonwealth of PA has the right to create gun laws. We’ve seen cities and municipalities all over the state try to overstep this law by introducing “Lost or Stolen” firearms laws in the past few years and all end with a big cost to taxpayers due to court costs and attorney fees. York City even considered trying to implement a similar law but realized that it was fruitless.  And even if they could pass a law banning firearms from City government property, where is the money going to come from for metal detectors, extra personnel to man the detectors, gun lockers for law-abiding citizens to store their weapons? Are we going to take even more law enforcement officers off the streets to “protect” our local officials?

The best solution for this problem would be for elected officials to provide for their own safety and security if they are so inclined. City council can hire security if they feel the need, but it shouldn’t come at a cost to the taxpayers they serve.  Or, they can decide to defend themselves as  at least two local mayors,  several state reps and other law-makers I’ve know through the years who entrust their safety in their own Second Amendment right.



  1. I tend to agree that the best way for local officials to provide for their security is to be trained and armed themselves. My cousin was elected mayor of a local community and it became obvious, very quickly, that he needed to be armed and was immediately given a CWP by the police cheif. Similarily, I was a little surprised to find out that at least one of our Senators to the US Senate carries a weapon at all times. And she is a very liberal Democrat.

    I also read your piece from 2009 called “If I Only Had A Gun”, and liked your take on the 20/20 story. Even though it is now a cliche, it comes down to the fact that “an armed society, is a polite society”. I did not realize that all of the “worst shootings in our history … all had one thing in common, they were all in supposed ‘gun-free’ zones”. There may be an exception now with the Arizona incident in January, but it accentuates the point that no gun control law has ever reduced gun crime – ever.

    A Gun Enthusiast Speaks

  2. Gun free zones don’t work, PERIOD! These sick, twisted people look for places where there are no guns. So plastering “gun free zone” on one more place is only asking for some pissed off person to come a gunning. If that pissed off person does come, then he would be stupid to go where guns are allowed. If gun free zones worked, you would see more of them posted in peoples front yards.

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