Archive for Wednesday, May 21, 2014

City commissioners want to take stand against state’s new gun and knife law

May 21, 2014


Lawrence city commissioners may find themselves engaged in a gun and knife fight of a different type.

City commissioners on Tuesday said they're appalled by state lawmakers who approved a new law taking away the city's authority to regulate a host of gun and knife issues. At their weekly meeting, commissioners — for the time being — refused to repeal a pair of local gun and knife ordinances that the state law is designed to make obsolete.

"The state is going so far overboard so fast that somebody needs to tap on the brakes any chance we get," said City Commissioner Bob Schumm. "The goal up there is to get guns everywhere."

The city's legal department cautioned against keeping the ordinances on the books because the new state law is clear that cities no longer have the authority to regulate issues related to firearms and knives. The two city ordinances in question make it illegal for people to carry certain types of knives within the city limits, and makes it illegal even for people with concealed carry licenses to bring a firearm into a drinking establishment or onto public property adjacent to drinking establishments.

City Manager David Corliss said he had some concern that the city could face a lawsuit if it leaves the laws on the city's books. But some commissioners advocated that the city should send a message to state legislators by refusing to repeal the ordinances. Commissioners directed staff members to contact other cities to see if they have any interest in taking a similar action.

"I hope every city in the state would send the same message to the legislature," City Commissioner Terry Riordan said. "We're disapproving of it in the only way that we can."

Some commissioners also weren't mincing any words to disapprove of the new state law, which was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback last month.

"Raise your hand if you are surprised by the Kansas Legislature enacting policies that are epically ill-thought out and utterly stupid," said City Commissioner Jeremy Farmer.

Corliss said if the local laws do remain on the books, it likely would be as more of a symbolic gesture of opposition. He said the city would not be able to effectively prosecute anyone under the local ordinances due to the state law.

Commissioners did not take an actual vote on whether to repeal the laws. Before a vote could be taken, Mayor Mike Amyx asked for the issue to be deferred to give staff more time to research the issue.

In other news, commissioners:

• Approved water and sewer rate increases for 2015. Commissioners unanimously approved a rate plan that will raise the combined water and sewer bills of typical residential users by about 4.2 percent to 5.4 percent. Commercial and industrial water users both will see rate increases slightly higher than that.

The rate increases include funding for about $5.8 million in improvements to address taste and odor issues that occur in the city's drinking water when algae levels are high at Clinton Lake or the Kansas River. Those projects are expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

• Unanimously approved an increase in pay for Corliss. His new salary is $145,000, up from $140,000 currently. Corliss recently had received positive reviews as part of his annual evaluation by the City Commission.


Elston Gunn 4 years ago

"Raise your hand if you are surprised by the Kansas Legislature enacting policies that are epically ill-thought out and utterly stupid," said City Commissioner Jeremy Farmer.

So is he for it or against it. I didn't know epically was a word. That Jeremy. What a brainiac...

Jim Slade 4 years ago

Also, questions end in question marks not periods.

Who's the brainiac?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years ago

At last!! I shred of sensibility from the Lawrence City Commission!! These stupid laws passed by the Koch Regime Kansas Legislature and the dumbbell Governor are the absolute height of stupidity and irresponsibility. The gun nuts and gun factory owner Kobach have managed to make supposedly reasonable people in elected office become doctrinaire idiots in regard to weapons and guns. This has got to change before the state starts to see shoot-outs in library arguments and stabbings in the church entrance.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

Whatever became of the new civility, Jeremy?

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

Something that is lightyears beyond being able to be described as awesome because it is so epic. Pretty much if something is this awesome, it is win. For reference, pretty much this can only describe one person in the world. Pretty much the only living thing known to this universe that can be described as this is Sam. End of Discusion. Of course Sam's going to get that job. She's so epically awesome the manager would have to be a complete imbecille to not give it to her.

So, yes it is a word, another example would be, lemurs are epically awesome animals. If you don't agree with this you are epically stupid. Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 years ago

Guns in bars? Never a good mix. Also, stilettos have been banned for a long time. What purpose do they serve? Aren't they they ones that when you press a button the blade comes shooting straight out? A real quick way of killing someone, I guess.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

Traditionally, a stiletto is a knife with very narrow double-edged blade. It's not necessarily an automatic knife (otherwise known as a switch-blade).

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 years ago

But a pocket knife should do any job you would need, like cutting a box or even turning a screw: I use a pocket knife quite often. What does a stiletto do that a pocket knife doesn't? At least anything that is legal. And why would you feel the need to carry that or a gun to a bar?

Jim Slade 4 years ago

What does this have to do with the knife and law ordinances?

Rick Masters 4 years ago

Nothing. It's clear that his comments are in response to the water/sewage rates increase.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

Just what I was thinking. Good reply Rick.

4 years ago

The bar tender could ask these friendly folks to unload the weapon in front of him or her. The only person with a loaded gun should be the bartender. Probably a Glock 19 with a twenty round clip and some spares. The thing here is what happens when these friendly folks want to leave? What if that smile really isn't a smile but a sh*t eating grin? The bar tender is gonna have to have that Glock cocked and ready to raise Hell. Gonna need security cameras that can follow these folks and make sure they don't try anything smart out in the parking lot. If they are too drunk to find their car keys they will want to shoot their way in... and then someone else could mistakenly find that threatening and all Hell could break loose... so you never know... (I'm watching the hit TV show "The Colbert Report" too much... :) Not to worry...Not quitting my day job...Yes, bar tending.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

The Glock 19's standard magazine (and it is a magazine, not a clip) holds 15 rounds. But don't let reality get in the way of your little fantasy.

John Middleton 4 years ago

I'd also be interested in how he "cocks" a Glock. And even more, how he would "uncock" one.

Bob Smith 4 years ago

The idea of having people unload firearms in a dimly lit and crowed room is rather dum bass in and of itself.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years ago

Well, I liked the bar keeps comment and I think he meant it metaphorically when he was talking about all the cocking that may or may not be going on in bars now and in the future. As Roe would say, practice, practice for you never know the day nor the hour when that knife or firearm will be needed.

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