Firearms in the local news

Jackson County, MO, has been in the news this week. The first was the result of unintended, for some, consequences. The second was grandstanding by Kansas City Sly James.

Back in December, the Jackson County legislature added  sub-section (c) to an existing ordinance, 5534.2. That addition said:

c. Discharge a firearm or projectile weapon:

(1) Anywhere within the area described as the “Urban Development Tier” in the Jackson County Master Plan “Strategy for the Future,” dated January 1994, as amended; or

(2) In a manner so as to allow a projectile to travel beyond the boundaries of the tract of real property from which it was fired onto another tract not under common ownership.

This subsection 5534.2.c shall not apply to any otherwise lawful activity taking place on the grounds of a firing range or gun club as permitted under section 24005.9 of this code or under the duly enacted ordinances of any competent municipal authority within Jackson County. (Ord. 2106, Eff. 6/16/92; Ord. 4595, Eff. 12/02/1

Before this section was added, the boundaries of this ordinance was 1-mile beyond existing city limits. After the change most of rural Jackson County was within the new boundaries making shooting firearms illegal in almost all of Jackson County. The Independence Examiner was present and published this article yesterday.

Dozens of people attended a meeting Tuesday night at Bass Pro Shops in Independence largely focused on Jackson County's weapons offenses ordinance.  Zach McNulty | The ExaminerTuesday night, the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance hosted a meeting between 120 or more Jackson County residents and officials from the county and nearby state districts. The officials were MO State Senator Will Kraus (Lee Summit), State Representative Sheila Solon (Blue Springs), Jackson County Legislator Greg Grounds (Blue Springs), Jackson County Mike Sharp and his deputy Col. Hugh Mills. Jackson County Legislator Greg Grounds and Jackson County Mike Sharp took the brunt of the questions and comments from the residents.

At the end of the meeting, Legislator Grounds vowed to repeal the new section. Sheriff Shark stated he was assist as he could to do the same. State Senator Will Kraus and State Representative Sheila Solon said that if the county didn’t act, the state would.

The flaw in the ordinance was using a map, drawn for economic development and planning, to determine areas of high density population. The map was never intended for that purpose and is frequently updated, expanded, to show future plans for expansion into the county. Greg Grounds reported he was one of three county legislators who would vote to repeal the section added to the ordinance. Five of the nine county legislators must agree.

There has been a meeting to repeal this new section. That meeting was continued. The followup meeting is scheduled for July 28th.

“The hearing was continued to 28 July, 2014 at 2:30 in the Jackson County Independence courthouse, in the basement,” said Kevin Jamison, President of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance.

The second instance of firearms in the news was Kansas City Mayor Sly James pushing for an ordinance to prohibit open carry within Kansas City. The city’s Public Safety committee rubber-stamped an endorsement of the proposal.

“’Our community is not a battleground,’ James told the committee,” in an article posted on the Kansas City Star’s website. That statement would be a surprise to anyone who peruses the Star and it’s continuing causality lists that appear almost daily in the Star. It’s unclear what James meant by the statement since there are been no instance of open carry in Kansas City leading to an exchange of gunfire. 

Likely, James is using the old “blood in the streets!” screed that the left has yet, after decades of use, proven. Everywhere citizens are allow to carry, openly or concealed, crime has decreased, not increased.

We really should not be surprised by James faulty logic and fear-mongering. After all, James is a democrat, and Kansas City is a democrat enclave in conservative Missouri. James is following the democrat reflex to continue democrat policies of ensuring Americans are defenseless against the growing criminal element.

James admitted that the city’s ordinance is likely to be an effort in futility. Missouri SB 656 had a provision to prohibit local governments, like Kansas City, from writing ordinances banning open carry. Democrat governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill earlier this month. However, SB 656 had enough votes in the legislature to override Nixon’s veto. The legislature has already used their veto override once this year.

State Senator Will Kraus (Lees Summit), speaking before the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance Tuesday night, said he was confident the state legislature would override the veto of SB 656 during its veto session on September 10th.

So, if Sly James knows this new city ordinance will be revoked by the legislature, why do it? Anyone knowing the antics of Sly James would immediately say, “It’s to get more face time before the TV cameras!” That would be true, but he already has near-constant coverage by virtue of his office as Mayor. What other motive could he have? Perhaps, so say some, James is looking towards the future and thinking about challenging Roy Blunt for Senator. James knows he can get more political creds from democrats by making the exercise of Kansas Citians right to bear arms more difficult.

Am I an open carry advocate? No, I am not. But there is the occasional circumstance where I would like to remove a cover garment, like a jacket, exposing a weapon and not be penalized for momentarily carrying openly.

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