Lake Ozark's move to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public has been put on hold.
Lake Ozark’s move to prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public has been put on hold.
Aldermen last week tabled a decision on the second reading of an ordinance that would establish rules barring the open display of a firearm in public even if the person has a carry and conceal permit.
The first reading, held at the May 13 meeting, drew feedback from some in the public who felt the city was infringing on their Second Amendment Rights. However, any action on the proposed ordinance was delayed because two board members ― Larry Buschjost and Betsey Browning ― were absent.
Second reading of the ordinance is expected at the June 10 regular meeting.
Bob Galvin, a resident of Horseshoe Bend, challenged the city’s proposal to restrict gun use.
“I’m here to speak out against the ordinance on open carrying of guns,” he told the board of aldermen. “I’ve had open carry for several years now and have had nothing but compliments from men and women thanking me for supporting their Second Amendment rights. These threats of losing our Second Amendment rights have to come to a stop.”
He said he has talked with businesses he frequents, and no one has had a problem with him carrying a weapon.
“I’d like to point out this is a Constitutional right, something provided to us by our forefathers. This isn’t something that just came up,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for 250 years.”
Galvin noted that the Missouri Legislature approved a bill (SB 656) awaiting Governor Nixon’s signature that, among other things, says local governments cannot prohibit the open carrying of a firearm by someone who has a valid carry and conceal permit.
Dan Gier, former Miller County commissioner, said he, too, was perplexed at the city’s move to regulate firearms.
“I find it quite puzzling that a community that placed itself on the national map by hosting the world’s second largest gun show (many years ago) wants to prohibit walking on the streets carrying weapons,” he said.
The discussion in Lake Ozark would become pointless if Senate Bill 656 becomes law in August, Gier said.
From a financial perspective, cities across the state have spent thousands of dollars defending court cases and posting ordinances relating to gun control, he noted.
Police Chief Mark Maples told the board of aldermen at the May 13 meeting that he had received complaints that individuals were openly carrying firearms as they moved 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 proposed ordinance would prohibit 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.
A mini-roundabout installed by MoDOT crews in mid-May at Route @ and Business 54 near Rick’s C Store has generated some concern.
Former alderman Jeff Van Donsel told the board that “for reasons unknown to myself and others” MoDOT installed an “experimental” single-land roundabout in “a busy city only 200 feet away from a busy highway interchange.”
“What has happened to the MoDOT that we all loved and admired and respected,” Van Donsel said.
MoDOT officials redirected traffic flow in the area with a painted mini-roundabout in hopes of reducing accidents and improving traffic flow.