Archive for Saturday, February 11, 2006

Police to city: Keep weapons far from bars

Measure would make it illegal to possess arms within 200 feet

February 11, 2006


Guns and bars do not mix.

That's the message city commissioners will be asked to send Tuesday as they consider a police request to strengthen existing city law prohibiting people from possessing any firearm - or knife over 3 inches long - while in proximity to a drinking establishment.

"I think this could be a tremendous tool for law enforcement," said Scott Miller, a city attorney who drafted the changes to the law. "It won't by any means be a panacea that solves all the problems related to violence and guns, but it can help."

The new ordinance comes on the heels of the death of a 46-year-old Topeka man who was shot early Sunday outside the Granada nightclub in downtown Lawrence. But Miller said police asked for a change in the ordinance in January after seizing several guns from patrons and vehicles downtown.

Police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward declined to comment on why the police asked for the changes, saying it would be "premature" to make a statement before Tuesday's City Commission meeting.

But Miller confirmed the current law contains a gray area because it makes it illegal to have a firearm in "close proximity" to a bar or restaurant that serves liquor, but it does not define close proximity. The new ordinance would make it illegal to possess a firearm or other weapons within 200 feet of any drinking establishment.

The new ordinance also would increase penalties for violating the ordinance from a maximum $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail to a maximum $2,500 fine and one year in jail.

City Commissioner Mike Amyx said he supported the change, but said it likely was only a first step in addressing the aftermath of Sunday's shooting.

"We'll have to have more meetings to talk about what else we can do," Amyx said. "This issue is of great concern to me. It should be for everybody. I know at the commission level we're taking it very seriously. This is something we can't just let pass us by."

City prosecutor Jerry Little said he hadn't experienced difficulties prosecuting violators under the current ordinance, but said he supported the changes.

"We want to avoid having problems," Little said.

State law - for the moment - makes it illegal to have a concealed weapon anywhere within the city. But without the city law, it would be legal, for example, for someone to have a loaded pistol sitting in plain view on the seat of a car parked just outside the entrance to a bar, because the firearm would not be considered concealed.

A bill recently approved by the Kansas Senate would make it legal for people to carry a concealed weapon if they've received a state license. If the bill wins final approval, it would trump the Lawrence ordinance. As currently written, the state law would not allow even license holders to carry a concealed weapon in a bar, although they could in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

Miller said he wasn't aware of any way for the City Commission to pass a law that would exempt the community from a statewide concealed-carry law.

City commissioners will meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.


rtwngr 11 years, 11 months ago

The question I ask is would this ordinance have prevented the crime from occurring the other night when Mr. Williams was killed and the other man wounded? No. Are we going to start searching individuals that come within 200 feet of a drinking establishment? Better not. Way to spring into action city commission!

nonimbyks 11 years, 11 months ago

Ok, so the KS guys in Topeka are getting close to pass a conceal and carry law. Two guys are shot at the Granada. Criminals are violating laws by definition and WILL violate laws because that's what they want to be doing. So NON criminals will continue doing what they do and we need a city ordinance to do this? Does this also mean that if I live in one of them fancy pants apartments' downtown which may or may not be near a bar, that I cannot even own a firearm? Can I still live across from Freestate and own a firearm? Or is Freestate considered a restaurant and not a bar? Clearly this law is meant for Mass. St. and does not think through the rest of the city. What happens if I live above a bar? It's still within 200 feet. What if I am just driving down Mass with a gun in my car and I get stopped in front of Granada for a traffic violation, do I get another ticket for transporting my Dirty Harry Special .357 home from target practice? They need to have a drop box and collection point at the city limits to leave your weapons there before entering. Like in the old days: Wait a minute, we're on our way to having dirt roads again in Lawrence and have some paved in bricks already, quite poorly I might add. I don't want to be in the way of the progressives in Lawrence.

Steve Mechels 11 years, 11 months ago

This is ridiculous; we don't need more laws. There are already laws on the books that prohibit carrying a concealed firearm (oops, that didn't stop the tragedy of the other night) and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle (KSA 21-4201). Furthermore, the law signed in April of 2005 prohibits localities from passing more stringent ordinances regarding possession of firearms. Firearms may be possessed almost anywhere as long as they are not concealed, unloaded and in a container. The city might want to check the KSA before they waste their time (and our money).

As a former law enforcement officer, I appreciate the intent, however this will do nothing. Criminals, by definition, have no regard for the law. If this passes, I will have to avoid every major street in town as I come home from hunting.

If they want to pass a law, maybe they could require any bar that needs to employ bouncers to have metal detector wands and to scan every patron that comes in. I know there are bars in KC that do this as I was at one about five years ago in Westport.

Steve Mechels 11 years, 11 months ago

smitty, see my post above. State law already trumps this proposed law.

Porkribs, don't want to be the bearer of bad news but if you are caught and arrested for carrying concealed, they will have your guns (they will seize what you were carrying, if convicted it is a felony and they can prohibit you from owning firearms)! That now makes you a criminal (crazy stuff). Best wait for the cc bill to pass and press your congressmen to override the upcoming veto.

nonimbyks 11 years, 11 months ago

Here, here PorkRibs! With all the crazies out there, and they want my guns?

Why not take my kitchen knives that are over 3" long and write me a ticket for being too close to the bars with them too!

tolawdjk 11 years, 11 months ago

"Arrest me. Over and over again you can arrest me. You WILL NEVER have my guns."

Sure they will, everytime they arrest you. You just have to be willing to buy a new one everytime they take one. Eventually you will run out at home of guns to carry and fail a background check in purchasing a new one due to your arrest record. Then you will be reduced to becoming a criminal to buy a new one.

horselimps 11 years, 11 months ago

your city laws are there ...........................for me to poop on.......come on guys they got the guns but we have the numbers lets take over......were have i heard that before ... oh yah jim morisons drunk ass

KsTwister 11 years, 11 months ago

And how much money will be spent on this before a higher court steps in? Lawrence as big and stupid as you think. ......correction "as everyone thinks".

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Police against the NRA. A fight worthy of admission.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Agreed. If Paul Mirecki had had a gun, we would be talking now about the hero who vanquished his assaulters with a few well-placed rounds.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

Okay, so it looks as though concealed-carry will be coming to fruition in Kansas. It does crack me up to listen to the people that think they are just going to be scaring the bejesus out of potential criminals because now the crooks are going to be thinking "are they packin'?"

People, please. In most robberies involving a weapon the criminal walks up with their gun or knife drawn. Do you really think they are just going to stand there with a dubious expression on their face while you draw your newfound confidence? More than likely they are going to either put a couple of holes in you or carve you like a T-bone.

Marion: It should be noted that the participants in Sundays shooting had spent the evening inside the Granada - a bar - so I'm guessing the statement "Guns and bars do not mix" is appropriate.



yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

More "liberals" need to start packing heat, as well as members of racial minorities.

We might see fewer belligerent right-wingers and racists willing to perpetrate assaults and hate crimes.

At the very least the belligerent right-wingers would get their just deserts. It's time for liberals and racial minorities to stand up and fight.

The future is unwritten...know your rights.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Stand up, liberals. Arm yourselves. Get over this goody-two-shoes phobia of firearms.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

A few "innocent" victims of accidental discharge and bad decision-making are more than made up for by the ability to defend yourselves against racists and right-wingers.

"When they knock down your front door how you gonna come? with your hands above your head or on the trrigger of your gun?" "The Guns of Brixton", The Clash.

2627 11 years, 11 months ago

Here's a good idea. Maybe we could stop hosting gangster music downtown, therefore not attracting gangsters from topeka,kc, etc. to the downtown lawrence music scene. Let's be honest folks, they aren't going to come here to party if death cab for cutie is playing.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago


That's a great story. And so inspiring that a woman could defend herself that way.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Liberals, racial minorities and women need to start packing.

Show those racists, right-wingers, and rapists who's-who.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Just think....

Armed high-school teachers would solve alot of the problems of our school system.

Armed college professors could maintain order in the classroom and snuff out any anti-intellectualism they detect.

A wave of a firearm at a restaurant would get that black family a good table in a reasonable time.

A few shots popped off would prevent belligerent right-wing assaults.

Hippies, a few firearms would protect your crops.

Wake up, liberals. Start packing heat.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 11 months ago

Way to go Marion. If someone broke in my house they would probably receive the same. I don't think this law will do any good. Criminals don't read rule books or even obtain their arms legally.
I think conceal/carry would be a good thing. I would like the right to defend myself if need be.
Also, down with gangsta rap, I don't think it caused the shooting, but listening to it makes my head hurt.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago


Oh, you're a man. I see, the ribbing and bullying you received as a child explains your position. My mistake. Show 'em what's-what... Go get 'em.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 11 months ago

truthlawrence (anonymous) on February 11, 2006 at 6:28 a.m. (Suggest removal) well said,,and when they pass concealed carry,, crime will drop as in others states that have passed the law to carry,,if the thugs have to think is he packen or not, crime will drop

Or maybe just shoot someone in the back...

Any links or examples? Law enforcement many times protest anything that would put more guns on the street.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Liberals, racial minorities, and women must start to defend themselves and get over this fear of firearms and self-defense.

An armed liberal is a safe liberal.

Protect yourselves against right-wing bullies, racists, and rapists. The fear of getting shot will stop these bullies in their tracks.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

I will say it again, if Mirecki had had a gun, we would be hearing a very different story now, one about two right-wing thugs who got their comeupppance.

LesterBurnham 11 years, 11 months ago

How stupid is this town?

This law will have no effect at detering any crime.

dviper 11 years, 11 months ago

Agree with all posters who've said this looks like a lot of CYA to show the voters and taxpayers of Lawrence that the city / police department are 'doing something'.

No new law regardless of the punishment will deter any criminal. Only the death penalty prevents them from committing another crime.

Poster 'yourworstnightmare' commented that more liberals need to start packing heat. This comment reminded me of a large survey done in connection with either ABC / CBS and numerous state prison systems in the mid 1990's. One of the hundreds of questions asked to these convicted criminals was something like, "Do you consider yourself to be liberal, conservative, or middle of the road"? The response was overwhelming 77% liberal, 9% conservative, and 14% middle of the road.

So, it sounds like more conservatives better start packing heat.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence is a very stupid town. Agreed with Marion.

One way to smarten the town would be for liberals and racial minorities to carry firearms.

This would show right-wing bullies, racists, and rapists that Lawrence is no place for them.

Lawrence liberals need to clean house, and firearms are just the solvent needed.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

It is a proven fact that right-wing political opinions correlate with low IQ and lack of education.

One study charted politcal opinion, IQ, and education and found that 90% of those with self-expressed right-wing opinion had no college education and an IQ below 100.

It is a proven fact that right-wingers are stupid and they are making Lawrence a stupid town.

Wake up, liberals, defend yourselves against the philistines.

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

Do the police really believe that because there is a law that says don't have a firearm within 200 ft. of a bar that it will keep those that don't want to obey the law anyway, from using a gun illegally for harm/stealing instead of self defense? All this type of law assures is that law abiding people will be disarmed while the criminals will be armed and be able to take advantage of you. The 2nd amendment applies to all. A law like that would only apply to a person that has no rights.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

Youworstnightmare wrote: "More "liberals" need to start packing heat, as well as members of racial minorities."

-The evening news would bear out the fact that there are plenty of minorities already armed.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago

"-The evening news would bear out the fact that there are plenty of minorities already armed."

Good point. The problem is not enough of them are armed. If they were all armed, we wouldn't see the violence we do because of the fear that their targets might shoot back.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh yay, oh yay. As previously stated there IS a law against carrying conceiled weapons. This is just another grandstand effort by a dysfunctional police force that spends most of it's time looking for easy and soft targets to make itself look good. Incompetant officers that spend their time in the donut shop and driving around the rich neighborhoods where they will most likely encounter some old lady jaywalking. This is the yet another reason why the present police force needs a thorough and complete cleaning. The police announced a while back something about a :citizens academy", I guess they need the folks to come to them so they can get caught in some misdeminors. The mayor had proposed a citizens watchdog group also a while back, and I guess the cops got to him, too. I have not heard anything else about it since. And Ron Oiln, PHD, needs to go out to pasture where his gestapo tactics will only affect weeds and cows. How did a nice town like this one ever end up with this sort of law enforcement, anyway?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

frwent: How can Chief Olin employ "Gestapo tactics" and have "Incompetant officers that spend their time in the donut shop and driving around the rich neighborhoods where they will most likely encounter some old lady jaywalking."? It would seem to me that they would either be one or the other.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

Yourworstnightmare: I think I understand what you're driving at. However, I am a little confused. Most of the crime, at least in KC, seems to be 'black on black'. How is increasing the number of armed minorities going to decrease racism? As I recall there was only one, maybe two, minorities killed in a hate crime in the Greater KC area last year. There may be more if you include some whites that were killed by blacks. (for example, the white guy that was shot riding his bicycle around 4:30am on his way home from work)

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

snuffy: I'm not talking about "instantly killing somebody with a knife". A criminal who knows how to use a knife doesn't need to do that. They could literally fillet the muscles off of your arms and legs while you're trying to fight them. In a close encounter I'm much more afraid of knives than I am guns.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 11 years, 11 months ago

snuffy: I'm curious as to how much you actually know about close quarters combat. I've been involved with it for decades now. How about you? It's quite difficult to "knock their fool heads off", or "kick their knees out". As you said, most people - not even me - will stand "stock still" in a combat situation. Not only that, but the adrenaline gets going and you lose fine muscle movement, you also have increased tolerance for pain which means that you could get knocked in the head multiple times and, unless it's a dead-on knockout blow, you're going to be conscious and able to fight. A knee, while just being two bones resting on top of each other, is surprisingly difficult to "kick out". If you don't believe me, watch pro football and see how many times they get whacked in the knees and get right back up.

One other thing. Most robbers don't walk up with a big sign saying "I'm gonna rob you". They surprise you. They wait in the shadows. Yes, they have their weapons ready but they don't usually show them until the point where you're either the fastest draw in the world, or an idiot for trying to draw.

Applied_Logic 11 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence may be stupid, but you've got something Olathe doesn't A forum that actually talks. Or is Olathe smarter because it has roundabouts, crooked politicians, stupid people making decisions and no forum for the populace to debate it?

Thanks for the good reads!

ImpactWinter 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm quoting myself from another thread, i think this'n is more topical :

"I'm a Kansas liberal, and by liberal, I pretty much mean socialist. But i am overwhelmingly in favor of concealed carry for precisely the reason's listed above by conservativeman, Violent crime drops demonstrably with the inception of a citizen's right to carry concealed. People with the intent to commit crime aren't going to blink about breaking one more law by carrying concealed. Its only illegal if you get caught!

I think that testing should be stringent and required. You have to pass, albiet basic, tests to operate a vehicle that can kill many people much more quickly if used improperly than any civilian-legal weapon. I'm very pro 2nd amendment, and I think that ownership should be an unassailable right, but I do agree that CCW permitholders should be checked out before the government entrusts them with the right and responsibility to carry a weapon on their person whenever they feel is neccessary.

Using a firearm in self defense is already very heavily legislated, it isn't as if permit holders are being licensed to kill! Strict policies exist to separate lawful use of weapons in self defense, and murder.

I think many opponents to CCW legislation fail to understand that people who are likely to do you harm aren't law abiding citizen's in any case. And Citizens who seek CCW permits are probably going to be people you would trust in any other circumstance.

I think the knife of Fear is cutting both ways here."

doc1 11 years, 11 months ago

Some are missing the point. It may not solve the problem but it would be an effective tool. Here is why. All the guns you hear police seizing isn't even close the the actual number of guns found. The only ones you hear about are the ones linked to someone getting arrested for possessing while being a felon. the other guns that are legally owned never get spoken about. This would help officers enforce everyone having a gun near a bar.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 11 months ago


You've had rotten luck with the muggers. I don't think I have ever heard of a family so plagued by violent crime. Where did all of these muggings happen? Lawrence?

gontek 11 years, 11 months ago

Maybe they should make a law tht says it is illegal to shoot guns outside of bars at people who are unarmed. Pretty much means no guns on mass street, I do now know how one could navigate through downtown without passing within the 200' distance of a bar.

Whuduryagunnado? Put metal detectors at the intersections? Don' t think so. I thought just the other day Mr. Olin said he was neutral on the gun thing,

Oh yeah, and since when did the police in this town start making up and advising the commission on new laws? Totally a kneejerk reaction, lets count to ten and settle down a little before we waste time on this.

City commissioners should read Dolph's article and figure out how they are going to fix the real problems developing in this town, not wasting time reacting to random criminal activity by making new laws that only hurt the law abiding citizens.

I love this town, but come on, this is stupid. On the other hand, I believe it will get better because we have good people in the PW and Utilities department who have identified these problems that have been existing for a while and are actively working to solve them.

Our police dept is pretty good too, but maybe we need some new higher up people to bring the that department into the light. After so long things get stale, and they may be getting stale there, I would like to hear a new perspective on thigs there.

Kelly Powell 11 years, 11 months ago

this is for your worst remind me of a quote from a WHO song" Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"....To me you seem that it is not equality you are looking for , but revenge....why don't you go out on a big vilgalante spree taking out all those that "are holding you down"... when the cops finally kill you or imprison you, you will be a martyr for whatever cause you are babbling about.

pity2bu 11 years, 11 months ago

I have found that people who talk too much, or to some people, "run their mouth," are not the ones to worry about. It's the silent one who sits back and takes everything in before he strikes, that's the one you need to watch.

A straight edge weapon within 21 feet of you can kill you before you blink an eye. You have no time to react. All you can do is put distance between you and the idiot holding the straight edge.

Lawrence Kansas has its Wyatt Earp's and Annie Oakley's right here in this comment section. You know who you are, you need to engage your brains and come up with another solution instead of being Monday Morning Quarterbacks. Do something about the problem. I'm glad I don't live in a city that is plagued by know it alls and cry-babies.

redneck 11 years, 11 months ago

I am very sorry that this tragedy happened, but passing this ordinance is like pissing into the wind. It will simply come back in your face. The person who shot those people is going to the big house once he is convicted. Do your really think another $3500 fine or an extra 180 days in jail was going to prevent them from pulling out their firearm because they were pissed-off or afraid that someone was going to hurt them? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Murder and shooting somebody is illegal to begin with and it is also illegal to carry a concealed firearm unless you are with law enforcement. Are they going to install metal detectors at all bars entrances once it's legal to carry a concealed firearm with a permit? I don't have a solution to this problem other than teaching our citizens that life is precious and violence is not a solution. Passing more laws isn't going solve anything other than to fool the general public into thinking that Lawrence will be safer with this new ordinance. The city needs to spend their time getting the south Lawrence by-pass issue solved!!!

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

"State law - for the moment - makes it illegal to have a concealed weapon anywhere within the city. But without the city law, it would be legal, for example, for someone to have a loaded pistol sitting in plain view on the seat of a car parked just outside the entrance to a bar, because the firearm would not be considered concealed."

This statement above is not correct.

§ 4. Bear arms; armies. The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Kansas Bill of Rights

The city ordinance is in clear violation of the personal right to bear arms for our defense and security.

kneejerkreaction 11 years, 6 months ago

BS and Bravado aside, if the City Commissioners want to make Lawrence safer, then ban hip hop. This music genre seems to encourage violence as a necessary part of its culture. The 200-yard gun rule is just silly. And, I don't get it. I've read of Lawrence Police confiscating firearms in full view in people's vehicles. Yet I've always understood this is ok because they are not concealed. Granted, to leave your firearm out in full view will get you a broken window and a stolen firearm, but I don't think it's illegal, stupid, but not illegal.

It's trite to even say it, but the 200-yard thing will not stop criminals from carrying. That's why they're called criminals, they don't care. It will stop honest citizens from carrying, that's why they're called honest citiz........oh forget it.

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