After that presentation, another local made a masterful satirical presentation to the council advocating the banning of items which kill far more children.....knives, buckets, swimming pools, etc. Delivered in his native UK accent and with a totally straight face and unwavering voice, video of that 5 minute presentation went viral with 225,000 hits on youtube in 3 1/2 days (402,000 hits to date).
The Chief of police is on record to the council stating that Ashland does not have a problem with gun violence and that while the occasional open carrier does generate calls, they have never had an issue with any open carrier. When asked if it the proposed ordinances would be a useful tool for his department he said that they did not need it and that it would be basically little more than a statement of community values.
The initial ordinances, there were two of them, included a ban on loaded carry, a requirement to have magazines empty of ammunition even if not in the weapon, and a requirement to produce documentation of an exemption or allow an inspection of the weapon. As Oregon state law preempts local ordinances and states that they cannot affect CHL holders this would have been a can of worms as was pointed out and verified by the Chief. The second ordinance was an attempt at an "end around" on state preemption which prohibits local government from regulating the storage of firearms, ammunition, etc. by calling it a "child protection" ordinance.
In the first session (a study session) in which the council considered the ordinances, the city attorney explained the legalities (which had previously been pointed out by activists) and the litigious nightmare they might find themselves in. As a result, the council directed the attorney to redraft the ordinance(s) (they had been written by anti gun activists) in a way which would be likely to survive any legal challenge. At their next meeting, he presented a single ordinance covering ONLY loaded carry by non CHL holders and dropping all other provisions and the second ordinance entirely. The sponsoring councilor was visibly upset and basically made herself look like an idiot (again).
As it stands, the council has sent the attorney back to redraft and insert wording to also exempt those driving through the city. This to placate the concerns of one councilor in order to try to save something from the anti's efforts.
This weekend's large open carry get together, as well as the numerous individuals who walked their tourist laden streets after the BBQ, some even bearing "assault rifles", was intended to give the city a little taste of what they are likely to see on a weekly basis should they attempt to restrict the most basic rights of self defense from the people. I personally walked the streets with my big black scary non handgun. Numerous people asked if it was real, was it loaded, why, etc. To all, I explained that the ONLY reason we were all there was the city council was considering an ordinance to address a problem which didn't exist but would actually increase the number of firearms carried openly on their streets and that yes, it was real, it was loaded with M855 military armor piercing ammunition, and it could fire 600 rounds per minute. BUT, that I wouldn't even be there if their council wasn't considering, and looking like they might pass, an ordinance infringing upon the rights of those who didn't have a permission slip from the government. I also advised them that, if they didn't want to see this every weekend, that they might want to contact their council members and tell them to drop the issue.
We're on it here in Southern Oregon and we will be on this issue until it fails to pass or until it is repealed!!!!! Besides, Ashland is a lot closer drive than going to some of the VERY FEW other ban cities in the state so it makes it very convenient for the many open carriers in southern Oregon to know where they need to go to do the most politically.
There is also talk of recall petitions for any councilor voting for the ban and for the one who brought it before the council in the first place. I suspect that if the streets end up with more, and much more visible, open carriers that those petitions might just find enough support to go through.