Strap That Gun On

concealed-carry-open-carry-laws-hand-gun-reuters-e1420057148637A year ago, Corvallis City Council was faced with a dilemma.

Community members had expressed concerns to the council about seeing a man in a local park carrying a gun.

But just what could and should they do about it?

Like many other city councils might have done, considering the controversy, our elected officials did not simply kick the can down the road, saying it was above their pay grade.

Instead, they launched a series of 11 public meetings that elicited more than a dozen hours of impassioned testimony from people on both sides of the debate. Residents lobbying for Second Amendment rights declared their opinions with equal fervor to residents who were afraid for their safety when seeing guns openly carried.

City staffers and council members expended just as much time and energy on the issue. Not to mention taxpayer dollars. So just what action has the council taken regarding whether people can openly carry guns here?

In a word, bupkis.

OK, so not totally nothing. The council on March 16 approved a rather vague policy affirming Constitutional rights that only implies the Second Amendment is also recognized. A little redundant, considering that city government is required by its charter to uphold the Constitution. By the way, that’s a policy, not a resolution, not an ordinance, not a law. Another council policy, you see, designated our fine city’s official flower. It’s the chrysanthemum, in case you were curious.

But it’s still a policy and not a law. That pleases the gun rights advocates, folks like Carl Price, a community member.

“It’s a way for us all to have a voice and it doesn’t discriminate in any way,” Price said, urging the council to adopt the policy.

But the city’s original policy wasn’t enough to please everyone, apparently; council member Penny York floated an amendment named after her. It might not seem to have much to do with guns, but it regardless emphasizes even further that violence and intimidation are not acceptable behavior in a city that openly carries weapons.

“Verbal threats and insults regardless of the individual recipient’s or family’s beliefs, status, or origin are not acceptable in the City of Corvallis,” reads her amendment in part.

Corvallis City Council approved the policy and amendment on a 6-3 vote.

Policy:

City Policy

Policy: No form of violence, threat of violence, intimidation, and/or tumultuous behavior that causes a violation of law is acceptable in the City of Corvallis. The Federal and State

Constitutional rights of all community members are to be preserved.

Purpose: To establish a policy for public safety in Corvallis that recognizes and protects the constitutional rights of all community members.

Guidelines:

1) This policy reflects both the community’s values regarding public safety and the rights of individuals to exercise Constitutional rights. The Corvallis City Council believes each community member should feel and be safe in Corvallis. The Corvallis

City Council also believes individuals have the right to exercise constitutional rights in a manner that does not infringe on the rights of others.

a) Corvallis Elected Officials and City staff encourages, pursues and preserves an environment that is harmonious, respectful and fair to all community members.

b) Corvallis Elected Officials and City staff encourages citizens who have concerns about public safety or their personal safety to contact law enforcement.

2) This Policy directs City staff to investigate incidents compromising public safety in

Corvallis within the framework of existing criminal law.

3) The Corvallis Police Department will work to ensure the constitutional rights of all community members are protected while working to ensure that public safety is maintained.

Review /Update: The Police Chief will prepare this Council Policy review every at the end of its first year, then every three years thereafter for Council approval.

York Amendment

A Family-friendly Community

Violence, threat of violence, intimidation and/or tumultuous behavior are not acceptable in the City of Corvallis.

To establish a policy regarding a safe and family-friendly environment in Corvallis.

1} This policy reflects the community’s values regarding the importance of providing an environment that is harmonious, respectful and safe for all individuals and families.

2} All physical violence or threatening behavior, including, but not limited to the intent to cause fear or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof regardless of the individual recipient’s or family’s beliefs, status, or origin are not acceptable in the City of

Corvallis.

3} Verbal threats and insults regardless of the individual recipient’s or family’s beliefs, status, or origin are not acceptable in the City of Corvallis.

4} The Corvallis City Council and City staff encourages community members who have concerns about public safety or their personal safety to contact law enforcement.

5} This policy directs City staff to investigate incidents compromising public safety in

Corvallis within the framework of existing criminal law.

The Police Chief will prepare this Council Policy for review at the end of its first year, then every three years thereafter for Council approval.

By Denise Ruttan

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2 thoughts on “Strap That Gun On

  1. So, when some hoplophobe begins ranting and “threatening” someone with an “investigation” into one’s lawful exercise of Constitutionally protected Rights, and their intent is fulfilled by having the local law enforcement officers detain and question that individual, a clear use of the force of government against them, will this justify a cause of action against said hoplophobe, and will the city actually prosecute them for violation of the city’s “guidelines”? Methinks probably not, but wouldn’t that be wonderful?

    Evidently, the city believes that “All” doesn’t encompass LEO’s official threats of violence. Just try and avoid an encounter with a LEO sent to “investigate” and watch the violence on behalf of the city escalate.

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