Commission right to allow concealed weapons in city buildings

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

“Criminals don’t care about the laws we pass in regards to guns, that’s why they’re criminals.” — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

Rubio’s words invoke much truth. One only has to look at the city of Chicago, which just released its homicide report for 2017, when 650 people were killed in that city, and already at least three people have been killed in the new year. In fact, Chicago homicides outnumber U.S. military casualties 18 to 1. This is a prime example of people who have no regard for gun laws, as the majority of the weapons recovered from these shootings were procured illegally.

These criminals give a bad name to law-abiding gun owners, who go through the proper background checks to buy their guns. Sure, is it a little bit of an inconvenience, but at the end of the day it’s not that big of a deal. This is the difference between criminals who have no respect for gun laws as opposed to law-abiding citizens who do.

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People who have concealed-carry permits attend a mandatory class where they learn about pistols – such as how to assemble and disassemble them, safe handling techniques, instructions about where you can and can’t carry a concealed gun, and rules for when a concealed-carry pistol can and cannot be legally used. At the end of the class, people must demonstrate their ability to hit a target.

These law-abiding citizens go through full state and federal background checks, pay a pretty steep fee for their permits and in some cases wait a rather long time to get their permits approved.

It has been proven that when someone commits a mass shooting, another person with a concealed-carry pistol can save lives by taking the shooter out.

Having said that, we believe the Bowling Green City Commission made the appropriate vote Tuesday, approving in a 4-1 vote lifting a ban on carrying concealed weapons in city buildings. Commissioners previously voted 3-2 on Dec. 19 to eliminate the portion of a city ordinance that prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons into city buildings. Commissioner Joe Denning changed his vote on the second reading to approve lifting of the ban, with Commissioner Brian Nash voting against, as he did on the first reading.

When the motion was presented, Commissioner Rick Williams clarified that Kentucky law still prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons into meetings of governing bodies, such as city commission meetings.

Nash has questioned the wisdom of allowing concealed weapons into meetings where contentious issues are being discussed. After Williams clarified state law, Nash also noted that the ban only pertains to governing bodies, and thus concealed carry would now be allowed at other meetings, such as of the planning commission, which also take place in City Hall.

We couldn’t disagree more with Nash’s opposition to this decision. If there were to be an incident at a city building, it is likely that it would be committed by someone other than a person who followed the law, took the required class and has a concealed carry permit. In fact, having legally armed citizens in city buildings increases the chances that lives will be saved, not taken.

That’s not spin, it’s just fact and we’re glad the majority of the city commission saw it that way as well.

The Daily News of Bowling Green