Missouri Town Bans Openly Carried Firearms
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Yesterday, the town of Lake Ozark, Missouri passed a measure that would ban openly carried firearms within the community. The The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen and the police chief argued that openly carried firearms are bad for tourism, which is one of the areas top industries.
The measure passed by a vote of 4-2 and there were vocal arguments from both sides. According to The Columbia Tribune,
“We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” said Alderman Larry Buschjost, who voted for the ban. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise. “
However, the measure was vocally opposed by at least alderwoman,
“There are bad people in the world, and by golly if I need a gun I’m going to have a firearm at my side or in my purse,” [Alderwoman Betsey Browning] said. “I’m absolutely against this.”
A member of the audience probably gave the most common sense argument of anyone there, and on that I’ve used myself at times,
“Just because somebody felt scared is not a good enough reason to pass an ordinance that violates the Second Amendment,” she said.
Right now, Missouri’s preemption laws allow local municipalities to regulate openly carried firearms. However, earlier this year, the Missouri legislature passed a bill that would strengthen the state’s preemption laws and make it illegal for local governments to regulate firearms at all. Governor Nixon (D) has not yet signed the bill into law or vetoed it.
Many states have recently adopted strong state preemption laws as it becomes very hard for law abiding citizens to learn multiple, if not dozens of different laws within their own state.
It’s unclear if the Board took up this measure due to any recent events or if they are trying to preemptively trying to stop anyone from openly carrying a firearm.