ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A couple of items on tonight’s Arlington City Council agenda will bring Open Carry advocates to the meeting.
Two issues are on the table. One would ban weapons at Arlington City Council meetings. The other prohibits anyone from handing out literature to drivers along Arlington streets.
According to the Texas Penal Code concealed handgun licensees are prohibited from entering any meeting of a governmental entity with a handgun, but it does not mention ‘long guns’ such as a rifle or shotgun carried openly. This is the loophole that the City Council is looking to close.
If the ordinance passed, a violation would result in a $500 fine.
The council will also consider tighter restrictions on people passing out literature along busy streets and intersections. This comes following the ticketing of Open Carry members who were passing out leaflets to drivers.
Open carry advocate C.J. Grisham and others were halted from passing out literature in the street.
His argument is with Arlington Council member Charlie Parker who he says told them in an e-mail “If freedom of speech in our streets is the issue – then stand in the middle of I-30.”
But Parker says that’s not at all what he’s saying. “It’s no a freedom of speech item, it’s a public safety item,” said Parker.
But would tighter restrictions prevent the annual firefighters Fill the Boot campaign?
“The Governor wrote an exemption to the firefighters to go out into the street and collect money for Muscular Dystrophy,” said Parker. “that is a statute we cannot supersede.”
Tuesday’s city council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will allow the public a chance to comment on the proposed ban.
Final passage is not expected tonight.
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