I was riding my bike home from work yesterday along the beautiful Jordan River Parkway and saw something that disturbed me. I stopped to refill my water bottle at a park in the Murray City section of the Parkway and noticed the sign with rules and regulations on it (pedestrians and bikes only, etc.). I also noticed that this sign said "No Firearms." This ban is not mentioned on, for example, trail signs in the city of West Jordan.
As you surely know, cities in Utah do not have the authority to prohibit people from "owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping any firearm at his place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in his possession or lawfully under his control." (U.C.A. 76-10-500) Cities do have the authority to restrict the discharge of firearms, but not the possession of them:
"All authority to regulate firearms shall be reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities. Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms." (U.C.A. 76-10-500)
I have received word that the State Attorney General's office has been made aware of this illegal, unenforceable restriction on the lawful carrying of firearms, perhaps you have already heard from them and this message is redundant. I am personally contacting them today to make sure they are indeed aware.
As a frequent (and lawfully armed) user of the Jordan River Parkway I must insist that the wording on these signs be removed or changed as soon as possible. Possible changes could be "No Illegal Firearms" (which would be rather silly as the individuals who carry illegally would surely disregard the notice), or "No discharge of firearms" (which would be redundant under Salt Lake County discharge regulations [County Code Title 10, Chapter 64]).
I exercise my right to carry a firearm for the protection of myself and others on a daily basis. I regularly choose to carry my firearm openly in a holster and I am thankful that Utah law allows me to do so. I would hate it if I were to have a misunderstanding with citizens or law enforcement officers who may be confused by the posted restriction.
Please keep me informed of any action taken on this matter. Thank you very much for your time and service.