Senate Bill 554 which allows a local option decisions on banning guns, including those covered by concealed licenses, it on its way to the state Senate Floor, following a vote Thursday by Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 implementation.
If passed the bill would allow cities, counties, service district, port authorities, school districts, colleges or universities to adopt ordinances or policies limiting or not allowing possession of firearms on or in public property by holders concealed handgun licenses.
The bill would require that unit signs be posted identifying locations where the guns would not be allowed. The signs must be or use universally understood symbols showing there firearms are banned.
The vote during a work session was 4 to 3 along party lines, with the Republicans saying the hearing should have been continued to allow more people to testify on the bill, with more than 300 having signed up. Chairman Floyd Prozanski said the hearing and work session were conducted according to Senate rules, and more opportunity to testify on the bill would be provided if the bill makes to over tthe House.
Sen. Dallas Heard said his no vote was in protest of the Capitol being closed to the public.
House Billl 554 would allow such public entities school district, colleges or university, cities, counties, service districts, and airports to ban guns from their facilities.
Heard cited a study which said that there there was a concentration of the guns, such as in Germany, crime rates are low and when gun ownership is low, such as Luxembourg, crime rates are high.
Sen. Michael Dembrow said the decision of what is best should be left for lo cal people and let the local community decide for themselves. “One size does not fit all.”
The bill does not affect law enforcement officers.
There is further action scheduled at this time.