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Russellville looking to ban guns on city owned land

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6/12 Update:  The Parks and Recreation Dept. has requested the proposed ordinance be shelved in light of potentially conflicting legislation before the US Senate that would permit lawful carry on COE land.  You can read more on this from the Russellville Courier News: 

Personal note:   What really irritates me is they pull the ordinance because of POTENTIALLY conflicting legislation that may pass (with this Senate) in the next decade... meanwhile Arkansas already has PREEMPTION on the books that is in direct conflict with this ordinance and the Council had no problem setting that aside.

6/8 Update: KATV in Little Rock picks up the story and interviews the aldermen proposing the ordinance and the President of the River Valley Gun Glub about the proposed (illegal) ban.  Reminder, the meeting is next Thursday in Russellville.  Attend if you can and speak out against this proposed ordinance!

6/7 Update:   The city council will address this proposed ban next Thursday (June 14) at 6PM at the City Council meeting:  5. Consideration of an Ordinance Prohibiting the Possession of a Handgun or Firearm within a Designated City Park within the City Limits of the City of Russellville, Arkansas, or Upon Land Owned by the City of Russellville- Alderman Tripp, Mack Hollis. (2nd reading).

It seems the Russellville City Council is considering enacting an ordinance banning handguns in all city-maintained parks and on all city-owned land.   Even with state preemption on firearms laws they do have the ability to enact this ban in parks if they post signs on all entrances (an AG opinion supporting this on city property exists).  The far-reaching ban on "all city owned land" may be far more difficult to legally enforce...

This excerpt from the River Valley Leader:

"A consideration was brought before the council for the second time to prohibit the possession of a handgun or firearm within a designated city park in Russellville city limits, or upon land owned by the city.  The ordinance would prohibit carrying a firearm or handgun concealed, on person, or in a vehicle, in any city park or city owned land.  After the meeting, Alderman Mark Tripp clarified that some city parks are leased from the Corp of Engineers and that their regulations trump the city’s regulations. In an effort to standardize the parks and lands so that the same rules are enforced throughout, the consideration has been presented to change the city’s ordinance to match the rules and regulations of the Corp."

In order not to "confuse" anyone they wish to mirror the prohibitions in place by the Army Corp. of Engineers since some city maintained park land is leased from the USACE.  The USACE rules are:

327.13 Explosives, firearms, other weapons and fireworks.

(a) The possession of loaded firearms, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons is prohibited unless:
(1) In the possession of a Federal, state or local law enforcement officer;
(2) Being used for hunting or fishing as permitted under 327.8, with devices being unloaded when transported to, from or between hunting and fishing sites;
(3) Being used at authorized shooting ranges; or
(4) Written permission has been received from the District Commander.
(b) Possession of explosives or explosive devices of any kind, including fireworks or other pyrotechnics, is prohibited unless written permission has been received from..

If you live in Russellville I would begin contacting the City Council and demand they abandon this proposed ban.  Is there a huge problem with public park shootings in Russellville?  What brought on this proposed ordinance?   Stand up and let your voice be heard!  The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Russellville City Council members and contact information:
Russellville Facebook page:

Chris Matthews
Exec. Director

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