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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus is about to clarify its ban on weapons in city-owned properties.

When a new state law took effect this summer to allow non-concealed guns to be carried in public places, Columbus and most local governments across the area passed rules banning guns in government owned properties.

Tuesday night, the Columbus City Council will consider an ordinance that will take better define those bans.

The law would prohibit a variety of weapons ranging from guns of all kinds to sling shots from what are called sensitive areas.

Those include city buildings where government bodies meet and all public parks. Violators can be fined up to $350.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI

AN ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH CONSTITUTIONALLY PERMITTED, REASONABLE RESTRICTIONS ON THE CARRYING OF FIREARMS OR WEAPONS IN OR UPON PROPERTY OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE CITY OF COLUMBUS, TO ESTABLISH EXEMPTIONS THEREFROM AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION.

THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI ADOPT THIS ORDINANCE AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. PURPOSE

The CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, as a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi, recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms pursuant to the Constitutions of The United States of America (Bill of Rights, Amendment 2) and the State of Mississippi (Article III, Section 12).

While recognizing the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, concurrently recognizes the responsibility of the people to exercise good judgment in their conduct and responsibility in the exercise of the right to bear arms. There being a compelling interest on the part of the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, to promote, preserve and protect the safety and security of citizens and employees of the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, the governing authority finds and determines that it is in the best interest of all citizens of the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, that certain restrictions be placed upon the carrying of any weapon or firearm in or upon areas of the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, that such governing authority has found and determined herein as Sensitive Areas.

SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS

As used in this Ordinance, the following terms and words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended.

(a) “Sensitive Area” means any Premises owned or controlled by the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, that is identified as such in this ordinance. Such classification is reached because those areas are localities where controversies personal to individuals or corporations could potentially lead to loss of property rights, liberty, or deal with fines and forfeitures, the opposing parties of which are often elected officials or appointed boards, commissions and officials, prosecutors, advocates, referees, and arbitrators as well as individuals impacted by decisions of such persons or entities. Likewise, locations where competitions are emotionally charged and where sporting participants are engaged in games involving physical contact, passions and where referees and judges are called upon to make decisions that impact the outcome of such competitions shall be defined as Sensitive Areas.

(b) “Weapon” means a bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack, slingshot, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or any fully automatic firearm or deadly weapon.

(c) “Firearm” means a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or any fully automatic firearm.

(d) “Possess” means to be in actual, physical possession of, or to know of its presence, or to have physical control of it, or to have the ability to control it.

(e) “Premises” means real property, land and improvements, buildings, walkways, entry ways, or other structure appurtenant to a building.

 

SECTION 3. RESTRICTION ON POSSESSION OF WEAPON/FIREARM

No Person shall Possess, either openly or in a concealed fashion (as set forth in Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-1, et seq.), a Firearm or Weapon in, on or upon any Sensitive Areas, which said areas as designated herein hold public meetings of the City as contemplated by Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-53(1)(f).

SECTION 4. DESIGNATION OF SENSITIVE AREAS

The Mayor and CITY COUNCIL designate the following Premises to be Sensitive Areas subject to the provisions of this Ordinance:

a. At any public meeting of the Mayor and City Council or any other elective or appointed Board of Commission meeting within the municipal boundaries of the City;

b. Recreational Facilities, and all buildings and community centers located on such recreational facilities, which are hereby defined as Public Parks, and shall include, but not be limited to the following locations:

Propst Park, Townsend Park, Sims Scott Park; The CLRA Soccer Complex; Joe Cook Soccer Complex; Hank Aaron Park; Townsend Park; Sandfield Park and Community Center; East Columbus Park; Lee Park; Northaven Woods Park; and Riverside Park and Riverwalk including the Tenn-Tom Pedestrian Bridge;

c. Any and all political rallies;

d. Any and all parades;

e. Any and all official political meetings;

f. Any and all non-firearm related schools;

g. Any and all non-firearm related colleges;

h. Any and all non-firearm related professional athletic events; and

i. Any municipal court when in session.

SECTION 5. EXEMPTIONS

This Ordinance shall not apply to the following Persons:

a. Any bona fide uniformed law enforcement officer on active duty, regardless of jurisdiction;

b. Any Person authorized by the MAYOR and CITY COUNCIL to be permitted to possess a Firearm or Weapon in a Sensitive Area;

d. Any Person possessing a valid Enhanced Conceal Carry Permit issued by the State of Mississippi pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-7 (1972), as amended.

SECTION 6. PENALTY

Any Person who violates this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined in an amount of not less than $100.00 nor more than $350.00 for a first offense. Upon conviction of a repeated violation, which means a second or subsequent violation of this Ordinance committed by a Person within any THIRTY SIX (36) month period, said person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined in an amount of not less than $350.00 nor more than $500.00. After the third violation of this Ordinance committed by a Person within any THIRTY SIX (36) month period, the person so convicted shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined in an amount of not less than $500.00 nor more than $999.00 and/or shall be incarcerated for a period of between THIRTY (30) days and ninety (90) days in jail.

SECTION 7. ENFORCEMENT

The provisions of this Ordinance shall be enforced by the Chief of Police for the CITY OF COLUMBUS, Mississippi, or any designee thereof.

SECTION 8. SEVERABILITY AND CAPTIONS

This Ordinance and the various parts, sections, subsections, phrases and clauses thereof are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Ordinance shall not be affected thereby. The Captions included at the beginning of each Section are for convenience only and shall not be considered a part of this Ordinance.

SECTION 9. REPEAL

All resolutions, ordinances, orders or parts thereof in conflict in whole or in part with any of the provisions of this Ordinance are, to the extent of such conflict, hereby repealed.

SECTION 10. ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY

No officer, agent, employee or member of the City shall render himself or herself personally liable for any damage that may occur to any person or entity as a result of any act or decision performed in the discharge of his or her duties and responsibilities pursuant to this Ordinance.

SECTION 11. PLACEMENT OF SIGNAGE

The Chief of Police or the designee thereof, or any other person selected by the Mayor, shall be authorized to place, and shall cause to be placed, appropriate signage on, in or near the facilities listed as Sensitive Areas in this Ordinance in order to carry out the provisions of this Ordinance. Said signage shall provide adequate notice to all citizens attempting to enter said Sensitive Areas that the carrying of weapons therein is prohibited. It is the intent of this Ordinance that notification signs be placed within the parking facilities of said Sensitive Areas, including but not limited to the entry points of said parking facilities.

SECTION 12. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Ordinance shall be effective thirty (30) days from and after its passage.

____________________________________

ROBERT E. SMITH, SR., Mayor

CITY OF COLUMBUS

ATTEST:

____________________________________

MILTON RAWLE, SECRETARY/TREASURER

CERTIFICATE

The above and foregoing Resolution was enacted upon the Motion of Council Member _________________________________, said Motion was seconded by Council Member _________________________________, with the following Council Members voting as shown (yea or nay) below:

Council Member Taylor: _________

Council Member Mickens: __________

Council Member Box: __________

Council Member Turner: __________

Council Member Karriem: __________

Council Member Gavin: __________

WITNESS my signature this the ______ day of ________________________, 2013.

___________________________________

SECRETARY / TREASURER

Comment on this Story

  • Krestan Wyckoff

    Really?? The only reason a Politician wants to make these places off limits are to be able to steal from the people with out recourse !!!
    In all reality , I would rather go Conceal carry rather than non-concealed … I want the edge on the criminal . I carry open around my house. because I can see an intruder coming and its more comfortable .
    But when the powers that be start stipulating when and where , its not a free people any more …
    Why if I might ask, would any one who is a law abiding public servant be afraid of Law Abiding citizens carrying a weapon ????
    Another thing, (machine gun or any fully automatic firearm) No one ever walks around with a machine gun or a fully automatic firearm !!! Hell I bet this town does not even have 3 maybe 4 people who own automatic firearms !! I am a collector of old Mil Surp firearms … and I only know one person who owns a automatic firearm !!! Thats one person and Im in my late 40s …that is one person in my whole life that actually owns an automatic firearm!! So why have that even mentioned ??? Oh Well , its just a baby step to take all our other rights away and mislead the people !!

    • Daniel Teague

      What is crazy about this whole ordeal is the fact that this is NOT a new law as always reported. HB2 only clarified the fact Ms is and always has been a open carry state and defined concealed or partially concealed… However you are correct if this is allowed it is yet another step/move violating you constitutional rights… Better get together and let them hear your voices!

  • Jason

    Columbus better be careful jumping on the anti gun bandwagon! We are in rural Mississippi not California. If they are worried about people carrying open they need to make the rule no open carry, not take rights away from us who have legally obtained a concealed carry permit. To say no guns will also take away the rights to carry of someone who even obtains an enhanced concealed carry. This is another gun grab from people (politicians) who do not understand the constitution and are scared of guns because they have been brain washed by the liberal media. It goes back to the same old issue: criminals will have guns because they do not obey the law and the legal citizens will not be able to protect themselves. Why is it that politicians can’t (won’t) see this? Maybe its not about real concern for the citizens but about power and control. Even though Columbus politicians will not directly benefit from this gun control they can be on the right political side and show liberals in the country that they can gun grab even here in Mississippi. This is another sign of the culture change in Columbus and how it is negatively going to impact the community. It is hard to imagine that a town the size of Columbus could become a ghost town of what it once was but you can just look at Detroit and see an example of what happens when liberal democrats run the tax paying demographics out and all they have left are welfare recipients, this is the kind of change that these laws indicate to be coming. Well one thing is for sure, Starkville will be ready to reap the benefit!

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