Mason City leaders are debating whether or not to ban citizens from carrying guns in publc buildings, even if they have a concealed weapons permit. The issue was sparked when folks learned that a council candidate, a retired California game warden with a permit to carry, was packing at public meetings.
Now, Mayor Roger Bang (perfect) says he would veto any ban. The Mason City Globe-Gazette has the details here:
Mayor Roger Bang said Monday night he will veto any measure passed by the City Council that prohibits registered gun owners from having concealed weapons in public buildings.
At the request of several council members, City Administrator Brent Trout has asked City Attorney Tom Meyer to draft an ordinance that would prohibit anyone but certified police officers from having weapons in all city buildings.
Trout said he wants the ordinance ready for the council’s next meeting, on April 15. The council can waive the first two readings and pass it on final reading that night if members choose to do so.
Bang said he had been out of town over the weekend but returned Monday and learned about the turmoil concerning council candidate Gary Horn having a gun at several public meetings he has attended.
“If he has a permit, if he’s complying with the rules, I don’t have a problem with it. None. Zip,” said Bang.
“This is not an endorsement of anyone. This would apply to anyone who is complying with the law.
“I disagree with my colleagues and will veto the ordinance if they pass it. They have the right to override if they choose to do so,” he said.
It takes a two-thirds vote of the council to override a veto. However, with a six-seat council the four-vote simple majority that it takes to pass a law is the same super-majority it takes to overturn a veto.
Horn, a retired California game warden, has a permit to carry a weapon, even though as a retired law enforcement officer he doesn’t need a permit, according to Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals.
I have to side with the mayor on this one.
I know nothing about this guy with the gun, but I have a feeling this is more about election politics than safety. The story goes on to say that all three of his opponents have “expressed concern” about his gun toting. They’re “uncomfortable” with him having a gun. They’re trying to portray him as a nut.
But trained people with permitted guns are not who we have to worry about. It’s the disgruntled crank with an illegal firearm stuck in his belt looking to do harm that’s the real threat. And that guy isn’t going to comply with any rules. Unless you’re going to search every person that comes to the council meeting, I’m not sure how this ban makes anyone safer.
I’m not a gun owner, but I still wonder when it was that we became so frightened and obsessed with safety that we lost our minds and common sense on gun rights. Some gun ownership and use restrictions make sense, background checks, for example. This doesn’t sound like one of them.