In a 4-2 vote on Tuesday, a southwest Missouri community has taken a sensible approach to firearms safety and banned the open carry of guns, according to a report from the Missourian. Thanks to a Missouri state law that allows cities to regulate the open carry and discharge of firearms, Lake Ozark, MO is going to be much safer for families!
The reasoning is simple: the people of Lake Ozark spoke out against the practice of openly displaying one’s auxiliary penis, and the Board of Aldermen voted to protect the community.
The ban was proposed by police chief Mark Maples in response to concerns of residents and business owners that open carry activists not only create an unsafe environment, but that allowing people who believe it is necessary to carry a firearm to protect oneself in the diaper aisle to walk around with a weapon are negatively impacting tourism.
“We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” said Alderman Larry Buschjost, who voted for the ban. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise. “
Of course, your kids’ safety is easily trumped by the much-touted, rarely understood Second Amendment, according to Alderwoman Betsey Browning. She suggested an alternative: that businesses place signs on their doors to let people know guns are not welcome. She did not address how this helps keep the public safe outside of those businesses.
One audience member, Gail Maeder, was more direct. “Just because somebody felt scared is not a good enough reason to pass an ordinance that violates the Second Amendment,” she said.
However, despite the will of the people, a few strokes of Gov. Jay Nixon’s pen could undo the progress Lake Ozark has made. A bill that passed the Senate legislature this year forbids cities from prohibiting the open carry of firearms if a person has a concealed carry permit, and would nullify any municipal ordinance denying open carry to people with the proper permits.
Nixon has not said whether he will veto the measure, but chances are that he will. Nixon is rated 58% by the National Rifle Association (in other words, he is half crazy), and signed a bill in 2010 that expands the “Castle Doctrine” to include fetuses, and allows business owners and farmers to use deadly force on their property without fear of answering for their actions. In 2011, Nixon signed legislation that lowered the age at which a person may obtain a concealed carry endorsement.
Gov. Nixon said:
“As a gun owner and hunter, I support the Second Amendment rights of Missourians and oppose efforts to undermine them. “That is why, as Governor, I have enacted legislation to expand gun rights, including bills to strengthen the Castle Doctrine and to allow more Missourians to carry concealed weapons. House Bill 533 is a sensible expansion of Missouri’s already strong protections for gun owners.”
Congratulations on taking a sensible step forward, Lake Ozark, MO! We hope is is not temporary.