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New Ordinance Would Ban Guns At Public Meetings

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - City council plans to vote on a new ordinance that would ban guns at public meetings.

If the vote is unanimous, the motion would pass and the ordinance could be put in effect within weeks.

Members of Open Carry Tarrant County were at Arlington City Hall to protest the ordinance.

Two weeks ago, members of Open Carry Tarrant County spoke at a council meeting voicing concerns about an ordinance preventing them from handing out pamphlets along roadways.

But members were asked to remove their black powder pistols, which were manufactured before 1899 and under Texas law are considered antiques.

“It can still be loaded. It still works, it can still kill you, but its not a firearm under law,” said Kory Watkins, head of Open Carry Tarrant County.

Out of a concern for safety, council decided to create an official ban of guns at open meetings, including council meetings.

“The problems is, is that it’s a safety issue not only for council members and me,” said Arlington Mayor Dr. Robert Cluck. “But more importantly citizens who come here to ask questions or make comments are afraid to come.”

“Let’s face it, they are deadly weapons,” said Lt. Chris Cook, public information officer with the Arlington Police Department. “They can kill you and they pack the punch of a .44 magnum according to their own members.”

Members of open Carry Tarrant County said they are being unfairly targeted. Two weeks ago, two of their members were ticketed for stepping into the roadway and passing out pamphlets.

“That’s a violation of freedom of speech,” Watkins said. “We want them to know the current law, that you can walk around with a gun, shotgun or a rifle, or with a black powder revolver that’s pre-1899.”

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