Guns Still Allowed at City Hall After Vote To Ban Them - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/6/08

Guns Still Allowed at City Hall After Vote To Ban Them

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Guns are still allowed at Lubbock City Hall. This comes after the city council rejected a resolution that would ban concealed weapons at public meetings. Two council members proposed to post a standing sign prohibiting concealed handguns just outside council chambers.  The only exception would be commissioned peace officers.

The idea to ban guns at public meetings comes from council members, Floyd Price and Linda DeLeon. DeLeon tells NewsChannel 11 she has seen one council member with a gun in these chambers. "I am very uncomfortable knowing that other than commissioned peace officers, there are guns in our meetings as we speak," DeLeon said. NewsChannel 11 asked, "today there are people with guns?" "Oh yeah," DeLeon added.  We asked if they were sitting on the dais? "Possibly," DeLeon said.

DeLeon argued under the state's penal code councils can ban concealed weapons during public meetings. "It's something very important for us to honor with a sign and I've seen it at other buildings and we need to protect our employees here from those other than commissioned peace officers," DeLeon said.

Floyd Price added, "We get some pretty heated people while we are doing business for the city of Lubbock. So I don't think this is unnecessary. I think this is a necessary thing we need to look at."

But not all council members agree. Councilman John Leonard says approving a gun ban notice would work against Texas law. "If we were to post these notices and made that requirement and then enforced that through a ticket or other process it would be defensible and would not be enforce," Leonard said.

Councilman Paul Beane followed and argued concealed handguns make the chamber a safer place. "If this passes this chamber will become a far more dangerous place than it is right now," Beane said.

After Leonard and Beane both publicly spoke out against the ban, NewsChannel 11 asked if they carry concealed guns during council meetings. "I am not going to comment on whether I'm a concealed permit holder. That would negate the purpose of being a concealed permit holder," Leonard said.

"No," Beane said. NewsChannel 11 asked, "You don't? "I do not," he replied. "But I do have a concealed carry permit."

The vote was two to five against the resolution. Price and DeLeon voted in favor. Todd Klein, Paul Beane, John Leonard, Jim Gilbreath and Mayor Tom Martin voted against it.

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