Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Tea Party Challenging Helena City Gun Ordinance

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Milford Colony, Montana, USA
    Posts
    145

    Tea Party Challenging Helena City Gun Ordinance

    I saw this in the paper today, and I know that this specific ordinance has been discussed here before.

    http://helenair.com/news/article_d54...tml?mode=story


    Tea Party Challenging City Gun Ordinance

    In an ongoing attempt to initiate a review of Helena’s firearm ordinance, Lewis and Clark’s Conservative Tea Party is planning to make an appearance at the city commission’s Monday night meeting.

    Last month, the tea party sent two letters to the city requesting a formal hearing before the commission to consider amending or repealing city ordinance 5-1-32, which prohibits, among other things, carrying a loaded or concealed firearm in public places within Helena limits. Lewis and Clark’s Conservative Tea Party Executive Director Tim Ravndal acknowledged that some regulations are important to ensure safety, but said they shouldn’t go so far as to infringe on the rights of citizens or go against compliance with state laws.

    In a letter dated May 31, City Manager Ron Alles said that though he appreciated the “differing opinions, both legal and otherwise,” regarding the ordinance, City Attorney David Nielsen has reaffirmed that the ordinance is legal under state statute. The proper place to challenge the legality of an ordinance is Montana’s court system, Alles wrote, and because of that, the party’s request for a hearing was denied.

    “However, all City agendas for public meetings afford any citizen the opportunity to bring matters before the City Commission not otherwise scheduled,” the letter goes on to say. “You are welcome to attend any scheduled City Commission meeting, at your convenience, and bring the matter before them at the proper time.”

    And so, Ravndal is planning to attend the next public meeting, at 6 p.m. Monday, to ask the city to reconsider its denial for a hearing. He said it would be better to go through that kind of public process instead of getting entangled in a court battle. For that reason, he plans to go through all the other avenues open to him before filing a lawsuit, including the public comment at the commission meeting, he said. But he acknowledged that the commissioners aren’t required to respond to what he says there and doesn’t necessarily expect anything to come out of it.

    “It’s a shot in the dark, so to speak,” he said. “No pun intended.”

    The city ordinance states that it is unlawful and a misdemeanor for anyone other than a peace officer on duty, a citizen protecting his life, family or property, or another individual authorized by law to “carry on or about his person, in any place open to the public, any loaded or concealed firearm, rifle, airgun or pistol within the limits of this city, or to shoot any airgun, rifle, pistol, sling shot or bow and arrow within the limits of this city, except in those areas designated as indoor or outdoor rifle, pistol, shotgun or archery ranges as designated and approved by the city manager.”

    With exceptions for “legitimate displays of unloaded firearms at shows and other public occasions” and hunter or gun safety classes, it is also a misdemeanor to possess a firearm, airgun or pistol at a public assembly or in a city park, school or publicly owned building.

    Exceptions to the above regulations are specified for various military and law officers. A person with a concealed weapons permit who is stopped by a law enforcement officer when carrying the weapon must immediately “advise said law officer of the location and type of weapon” and show the valid permit. People who want to arrange staged presentations using firearms with blanks or black powder must submit a request to do so to the city manager beforehand.

    Ravndal pointed out Montana Code 45-8-321 and Article II, Section 12, of the Montana Constitution, which address citizens’ rights to own firearms. State statute does note, however, that “For public safety purposes, a city or town may regulate the discharge of rifles, shotguns and handguns” and that a “county, city, town, consolidated local government unit has the power to prevent and suppress the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons to a public assembly, publicly owned building, park under its jurisdiction, or school, and the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens and minors.”

    The state constitution reads, “The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called into question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”

    The full text of each can be found as links in this story online at helenair.com.

    Reporter Allison Maier:

    447-4075 or allison.

    maier@helenair.com

    Copyright 2011 helenair.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  2. #2
    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    118
    I seen this in the break room at work today. I think Mr. Ravndal is just trying to stir the pot to get his name in the paper.
    When I am armed I carry open 100% of the time. I do get asked a lot if I'm a cop or if my firearm is real. Helena isn't the friendliest place to open carry but its not openly hostile like our friends in California and other places.

    Montana Code Annotated 45-8-351 preempts the city of Helena's ordinance. 45-8-351 reads
    "(1)Except as provided in subsection (2), no county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other local government unit may prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale, or other transfer, ownership, possession, transportation, use or unconcealed carrying of any weapon, including a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or concealed handgun."

    Subsection 2 says a city/town/local government can ban guns at a public assembly, public buildings and parks under its jurisdiction.
    Last edited by N605TW; 06-08-2011 at 09:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Milford Colony, Montana, USA
    Posts
    145
    I would agree that he is most likely seeking some publicity. If you read the law, it really is about the requirement that you must inform the officer that you are carrying if you are stopped. Everything else is just jawjack and does not go against state law as was stated.

    Helena overall is not bad, and I get a lot of the same questions. Biggest issues I have had were customers in Safeway and a manager in Wal-Mart that thought I needed a license to OC.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    343
    city ordinance 5-1-32, which prohibits, among other things, carrying a loaded or concealed firearm in public places within Helena limits.
    If Montana has Preemption, then to me it sounds like these guys are doing exactly the same thing that others are trying to get done, make sure cities and other municipalities are not infringing on our rights as spelled out in the constitution, be it state or federal.

    For instance, in Florida, people are looking at local areas ordinances for laws that need to be rescinded due to a State Preemption bill being signed. http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...igned-now-what

    Is it because they are from the Tea Party that you believe they are only seeking publicity?
    Last edited by xd shooter; 06-09-2011 at 12:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Milford Colony, Montana, USA
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by xd shooter View Post
    If Montana has Preemption, then to me it sounds like these guys are doing exactly the same thing that others are trying to get done, make sure cities and other municipalities are not infringing on our rights as spelled out in the constitution, be it state or federal.
    Please understand that the paper took the comment out of context. This has been discussed before in several threads such as this one: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=helena+5-1-32

    Is it because they are from the Tea Party that you believe they are only seeking publicity?
    There is some local history with Mr. Ravndal and you can certainly do some searching to find that out if you wish. While I may not agree with the "must inform" part of the law, it does not infringe on a citizens right to OC or CC inside city limits from what anyone has come up with so far. Since the city of Helena is pretty left leaning, I am sure that Mr. Ravndal could find some other constructive item to bring attention to.

  6. #6
    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by xd shooter View Post
    Is it because they are from the Tea Party that you believe they are only seeking publicity?
    Mr. Ravndal has voiced some things that I can not go along with. However I am a supporter of Jim Walker and the Big Sky Tea Party.

    I would like to see Ord. 2626, 1-27-1992 removed, I don't feel its on the top of the list. I think it would be better to pass constitutional carry and that in itself would void the ordinance. In regards to open carry, this ordinance doesn't apply as it reads "Any person carrying a concealed weapon".

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1,605
    Helenas' Firearm Ordinance 5-1-32 is Partially Preempted.

    The Provisions of A1 that Read: '... to Carry on or about His Person, in any Place Open to The Public, any Loaded or...' needs to be Amended to Read: '... to Carry on or about His Person, in [Certain Places] Open to The Public, or any [Concealed Firearm without a Permit to do so]...'.

    The Provisions of C need to be Repealed, as They Violate Preemption.

    The Remainder of The Ordinance is Enforceable in Accordance with Montana Law 45-8-351.
    Last edited by aadvark; 06-13-2011 at 11:26 AM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member 40s-and-wfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lake County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    490
    Okay, forgive my ignorance in this matter. I read the whole text of the article and am still somewhat confused. Does this actually mean I can't carry openly or concealed when I visit Helena? Does this mean that I have to compromise my personal safety? Someone please put this in terms that I can understand. My half-breed brain is slow right now. Maybe I need to wake up more and read it again.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Milford Colony, Montana, USA
    Posts
    145
    40s,

    Simple breakdown is that you have a duty to inform the officer that you are carrying if you are stopped. CC and OC are fine in Helena. Poorly written as it is.

    -CZ

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1,605
    40s-and-wfan:

    It is Legal to Open Carry in Helena..., so as long as You are not in, on, or within a: 1. School, 2. Public Assembly, 3. Public Building, or 4. Park.

    It is Legal to Concealed Carry in Helena, so as long as You are Concealed Weapons Licensee, while in Helena, provided; that in This Case, The Prohibited Places are: 1. Schools, 2. Public Assemblies, 3. Public Buildings, 4. Parks, 5. Portions of a Bank where Financial Transactions are Conducted (Excluding Automated Teller Machines, and Open Carry in such Banks), 6. Places where Alcohol is Served for Consumption on Premises (Restaurants and Bars REQUIRE Open Carry in Montana if Alcohol is Involved), and 7. Portions of a Restricted Area of a Public Building (Since Helena Prohibits Public Building Carry You would Violate BOTH Helena Ordinance and State Law on This Matter).

    aadvark

    *** In The Case of Items 5 and 6 of The Second Paragraph of This Article, Criminal Tresspassing Statutes under Montana Code 45-6-203 would Apply, if You have either been: 1. Asked to Leave The Building of Those Items so Listed, and You Refuse, or 2. Enter for an Unlawful Purpose (Which would be The Case if You Violate Montana Code 45-8-328 in The First Place by Entering into such Item Places without a License to Conceal). ***
    Last edited by aadvark; 06-15-2011 at 12:08 PM.

  11. #11
    Regular Member 40s-and-wfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lake County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    490
    LOL. Thanks, now I get it.

  12. #12
    Activist Member N605TW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    118
    Paragraph B has a list of exceptions. One of the exceptions applies to persons with a concealed weapons permit. It is my understanding that if I have been granted a permission slip I may carry to a public assembly or a park.
    B. Exceptions: Nothing in this chapter shall apply to a person in actual service in the military of the United States or the state, as a law enforcement officer or person summoned to his aid, nor to a revenue or other civil officer engaged in the discharge of his official duties, nor carrying of arms in one's premises or place of business, or where a concealed weapons permit has been granted to bear, concealed or otherwise, a pistol or revolver during the time of such permission. (Ord. 2670, 4-26-1993; amd. Ord. 2742, 6-5-1995)
    Bold added.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    760
    so does this mean you can open carry in those prohibited listed areas if you have a CCW ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •