Marion considers new weapon ordinance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marion considers new weapon ordinance

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MARION (KWWL) -- New Iowa laws are in effect, allowing more freedom when it comes to carrying firearms. Anyone with a valid carry and conceal permit can openly display a gun in public, but the city council in Marion is considering a new ordinance that would keep that from happening in city buildings.

"A lot of times, we aren't dealing with people when they're at their best," said City Manager Lon Pluckhahn. "They can come in and be angry about a water bill, or angry because they got a notice about their garbage."

In those situations, Pluckhahn it's possible a person would openly brandish a gun to intimidate.

"I just don't think that's the working environment anybody should have to work in," Pluckhahn said. He told us this proposed ordinance is not an attempt to alter the state law, which allows anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon. As long as a gun stays hidden, the city's new rule would still allow it to come into city buildings.

"We have the ability to say you can do this or not do this inside of our buildings, just like the private sector," explained Pluckhahn.

Under the new ordinance, a person would be subject to penalties if he or she were seen carrying a firearm in full view of others. Police Chief Harry Dougherty said that person would first be asked to put the gun away.

"If he conceals it or takes it back to his car, then he paid attention and we probably wouldn't do anything," Dougherty told us.

However, if the gun holder were to persist, "then we can charge him with carrying a weapon out in the open in a city building, or we can charge him with criminal trespass," said Dougherty.

Chief Dougherty admitted that some people may be upset about these proposed changes, but said they're not nearly as strict as the new rules that have already been adopted by other cities.

"Other cities that I'm aware of are making it so no weapons are allowed at all in city buildings," Dougherty told us. The Marion City Council may vote on this new ordinance as early as this evening, but it would take two more votes to pass.

Online Reporter: Brady Smith

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