Gun Law News: April 14, 2019

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Florida…

In an emergency, first responders often put their own lives on the line attempting to save others. House Bill 487 seeks to reduce that risk by allowing paramedics and other medical professionals to carry guns when responding to high-risk incidents. This would include instances such as hostage standoffs, drug raids, high-risk felony warrant services and active shooter situations. Harry Marsh thinks passing legislation such as this would help keep first responders safe. “I don’t have any problem with it. I think what they respond to sometimes, their life is in danger too. For them to have guns, I’m not against it,” said Marsh. “I’m 100 percent for paramedics and anyone else carrying guns due to the craziness of our society,” added Kim Johnson.

Idaho…

According to The Associated Press, Republican Gov. Brad Little passed legislation to change the minimum age for carrying a concealed handgun within city limits without a permit or training. The age requirement was lowered from 21 to 18. Backers say the statute, approved April 2, will align gun laws in urban areas with rural areas. The change will protect law-abiding citizens from accidentally breaking the law when they travel across a county and enter city limits, according to its supporters. Opponents say there’s a big difference between rural Idaho and urban Idaho. The higher age restriction is reasonable, according to opponents, to prevent accidental shootings and shootings from altercations. Currently, those under 21 can only carry a concealed firearm within city limits if they obtain a concealed weapons permit, which requires training.

Kansas…

On March 28, Lawrence Democratic Rep. Barbara Ballard offered an amendment to an unrelated gun bill attempting to add college campuses to a list of places exempt from the state’s concealed carry law, according to Lawrence Journal-World. Unless there is adequate security to prevent carry of a weapon, the law requires that most government-owned buildings allow concealed carry. Ballard reasoned that some parents have decided to send their children to out-of-state or private institutions instead of the University of Kansas in Lawrence because campus allows concealed carry of firearms. Ballard’s amendment failed on a 43-75 vote.

Missouri…

A bill that has made it through first-round approval in the Missouri House would allow concealed carry on college campuses. The measure, added to a bill allowing faculty and staff to carry as designated campus security officers, advanced with a 98-42 vote, according to The Columbia Missourian. Supporters say it would help people protect themselves from threats and sexual assault. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jered Taylor, says college campuses have seen an increase in sexual assaults. 

Nebraska…

The Blair City Council voted March 26 to allow people to openly carry handguns and firearms in most areas of the city with no questions or concerns addressed by the council members. Council member Brad Andersen requested to suspend the rules requiring three separate readings after it passed the second reading. After publishing a public notice, Ordinance 2337 went into effect April 12. The new ordinance lifts restrictions from a previous city ordinance that made it unlawful for any person, except authorized law enforcement or a private security guard registered with the chief of police, from openly possessing, carrying or transporting rifles, shotguns and handguns in the city.

North Carolina…

The Surry County Board of Commissioners voted to repeal Chapter 133 of the Code of Ordinances on firearm restrictions when county attorney Ed Woltz informed the board that it does appear to go further than state laws allow. However, he added, the board could choose to pass a new ordinance that does comply with state ordinance. Mark Jones, chairman of the Surry County Republican Party, brought the issue to the commissioners’ attention. Gun-rights activists across the state have been looking at county laws, seeking protection of gun rights. Wilkes, Stokes and Forsyth, among others, have already repealed their ordinances after it was pointed out that they were contrary to state law, according to Jones.

Ohio…

Gun-rights advocates in Ohio are optimistic that the state will soon no longer require a license to carry a hidden handgun or other deadly weapons. House Bill 174, legislation to abolish the state’s concealed carry license and training requirements, is being co-sponsored by almost half of all Ohio House Republicans. It would also expand the list of concealed weapons to include rifles and shotguns. In addition, the bill would repeal an Ohio law requiring motorists to notify law enforcement they are carrying a gun during a traffic stop. Similar legislation has been introduced during every Ohio legislative session for at least two decades, but all of those attempts went nowhere. The difference now is that Gov. Mike DeWine, unlike his recent predecessors, is expected to sign the bill if it passes the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly.

Texas…

Teachers are one step closer to having guns on their hips after the Texas Senate voted 28-3 April 3 to end a gun-storage requirement. Previously, all firearms belonging to members of the state’s school marshal program needed to be kept in a locked box. It is imperative for school staff authorized to have their guns in schools to be able to use them, said Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Republican who represents portions of North and Central Texas. Should a situation arise where a school marshal is unable to quickly retrieve his or her gun, the program is pointless. “That doesn’t provide for safety and security,” Birdwell said. “This bill simply allows for the school board to have the discretion to decide, ‘Do I want this teacher, custodian or administrator to be able to carry during some parts of the day?'”