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Thread: That County Ordinance...

  1. #1
    State Researcher
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    Got this from the Councilman today -- any thoughts on a reply I might form?

    Dear Rob,
    Please see the email below from the lead county attorney Gregg Wilson I got this morning, as you see from the email the county is aware of this issue and knows it is un-enforceable anyway.

    It will be sometime before they are able to draft anything to bring foreword, is there an urgency you are aware of that this needs to get done ina hurry? Our county laws are full of conflicts and laws that will not be able to be enforced as are the state laws also.

    I also know there is a little hesitation on their partthat a code change like this will get plenty of press and be preceived in the public in the wrong way.

    Please advise and let me know your thoughts,
    Dave


    Councilman Tackett:

    The Law Department has reviewed the County ordinance on gun possession and agree that it is in conflict with the state statute limiting the County's authority to prohibit possession of firearms. Therefore, the Law Department would not prosecute anyone for violation of that section of the ordinance. As a housekeeping measure, the County ordinance should be revised when there is an opportunity. However, I certainly understand that you have many other important legislative matters pending before County Council that have priority at this time.
    Gregg Wilson
    County Attorney

  2. #2
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    Wynder wrote:
    Got this from the Councilman today -- any thoughts on a reply I might form?
    The response seems positive - just matter a factly ask to be notified when the hearing for repeal is scheduled.

  3. #3
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    I also know there is a little hesitation on their part that a code change like this will get plenty of press and be preceived in the public in the wrong way.
    That's the only thing that gets my panties in a wad.

  4. #4
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    Maybe I should just mention that, it's not that it's not enforceable, but rather it's not prosecutable. So, if someone is lawfully carrying in a park and happens to come across an officer who stops them, looks up the statute and proceeds to arrest them... It's still a potential huge waste of time and money for that person who, because the officer is acting in good faith, would have no means of redressing that issue.

    Is that a little overboard?

  5. #5
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    Okay, here's something I drafted -- any issues with it?

    Dave,

    I can understand and appreciate Mr. Wilson's apprehensions. You asked if there was an urgency I was aware of -- to answer that, let me preface this by saying I tend to think in a worst case scenario involving myself.

    For example, I'm at the park with my one year-old Lily and my four year-old Moira, carrying my sidearm as a usually do, simply because I've been assaulted in the park before. An officer happens to notice my firearm and disarms and detains me while he looks up the ordinance. Now, I'm not sure if the ordinance is simply a citationable misdemeanor or if it's considered a felony. So, at best, I'm detained, have my weapon seized and I'm left defenseless while I spend a considerable amount of money to hire an attorney to fight the county for my property. At worst, the officer arrests me, calls Child Services to take my children into custody, I'm transported to jail and then in need of a lawyer to straighten out the issue and fight to retrieve my property.

    In either case, since the officer is acting in good faith as he is proceeding on the information he knows, I would have no civil course of action to redress the issue.

    As I've mentioned, I understand the concerns you've presented. If there are, indeed, other issues that are more pressing, I would concede that they should take precedence. However, I do respectfully request that you notify me when the revision of county ordinance 24.01.014 is up for amendment so that I may inform other Delaware residents who have been following my progress.

    Regards,
    Wynder

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure of procedueal rules but isn't it possible that debate can be done closed door before the open meeting and that during the open meeting they just state that county ordinance is in violation of state laws and with unnanimous consent the ordinance be stricken from the record. Using just the ordinance # and state law # when in the open forum. That way most people, not knowing what is actually being talked about would have to get a written copy of the minutes and check the ordinance and law to find out what happened. Most people there would just assume that what is stated in the open forum is fact and not bother to research everything. As long as nobody asked what your talking about they wouldn't care. Just bringing county law in line with existing state law.

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