Shades of the Wild West on the Strip in Lake Ozark have prompted the Lake Ozark Police Chief and other city officials to tighten the rules on openly carrying firearms.

Shades of the Wild West on the Strip in Lake Ozark have prompted the Lake Ozark Police Chief and other city officials to tighten the rules on openly carrying firearms.

Chief Mark Maples told the board of aldermen Tuesday night he has received complaints that individuals are openly carrying firearms as they move from business to business. Maples said he recognizes that people who have conceal and carry permits have the right to carry weapons, but the open display of guns is causing some alarm.

“I don’t see why someone would want to carry a firearm in the open,” Maples said. “If a weapon is concealed it doesn’t cause any issues.”

The LOPD has had to send an officer more than once to investigate the complaint.

“It’s a real safety concern,” he explained.

As a result, the board gave first reading to an ordinance that prohibits people from openly carrying a firearm “readily capable of lethal use in a public place.” A public place is defined as any indoor or outdoor area ― whether publicly or privately owned ― to which the public has access. Exempt is a location used exclusively for a private gathering or personal use.

City Attorney Roger Gibbons said a city can regulate the use of firearms.

“We don’t want people to carry open firearms in the city,” he said.

Second reading is expected at the May 27 regular meeting.

“That’s as far as I’m going to go tonight on that one,” Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos said.

Law enforcement and other authorized personnel are exempt from the new ordinance

Concealed weapons

In a somewhat related issue, aldermen gave second reading and final approval to an ordinance that prohibits the carrying of a permitted, concealed weapon in several locations.

The ordinance brings the city into compliance with state law.

Permitted, concealed weapons will not be allowed in:

•Any police office or station without consent of the chief law enforcement officer. Possession of a firearm in a vehicle on the premises of a police station is allowed as long as the firearm is not removed from the vehicle or displayed.

•The facility of any adult detention or correctional institution, prison or jail. Firearms are allowed in a vehicle on the premises as long as they are not removed from the vehicle or displayed.

•Any meeting of the board of aldermen, although aldermen and the mayor are allowed to carry a concealed weapon as long as they have a valid concealed carry permit.

•Any portion of a building owned, leased or controlled by the city of Lake Ozark in which the carrying of a concealed firearm is prohibited by signs posted at the entrance to the restricted area. The ordinance does not apply to public housing, highways, rest areas or firing ranges.

If a person refuses to leave any of the identified locations and an officer is called, the offender may be cited with a $100 fine. A second offense within a six-month period could result in a $200 fine, and a third offense a $500 fine.


The board of aldermen approved several post-election appointments as follows:

•Named Alderman Larry Buschjost as mayor pro-tem.

•Reappointed Jon Kaltenbronn as municipal judge, Roger Gibbons as city attorney and prosecuting attorney, Dave Van Dee as city administrator, Mark Maples as chief of police, Judy Noser as court administrator, Mardonna Phillips as city collector, Linda Goos as city treasurer and Rachel Kelly as city clerk.

•Appointed the Utility Commission as follows: Erby Young as chairman, commissioners Vernon Jaycox, Harold Maples, George Nielsen to replace Patricia Thompson, Bob Studt to replace Gerry Murawski, and Aldermen Judy Neels and Tony Otto.

•Alderman Gerry Murawski to the Joint Sewer Commission to replace Don Langley and Alderman Larry Buschjost to the Planning and Zoning Commission.