City Commission voting on concealed carry ordinance

BOWLING GREEN, Ky An ordinance in the city of Bowling Green currently prohibits anyone from concealing a deadly weapon in City Hall, regardless if you have a permit or not. However, earlier this month, Mayor Bruce Wilkerson proposed a new ordinance that would rescind the current one.

City Commissioner Rick Williams, who is in favor of the proposal, says it is time for a change, "The whole attempt is to try to make our ordinance come in compliance with state law."

On the opposing side, Commissioner Slim Nash has concerns, "The only issue that I'm focusing on related to this is the safety issue."

Just two weeks ago the first reading of the proposal resulted in a 3-2 vote in favor of allowing concealed carry in municipal buildings. Commissioners Sue Parrigin, Bruce Wilkerson, and Rick Williams all voted in favor of the proposal while Slim Nash and Joe Denning opposed it. The vote, however, doesn't mean anything until it is voted on for a second time in the next reading on January 2nd.

Slim Nash believes the proposal brings about concerns for safety, "If someone's going to have a weapon while discussing emotional issues, I think that the citizens, the city staff, the police, and the commission should be able to identify those people."

Kentucky state law currently outlines particular places where concealed carry is illegal, including inside any meeting of the governing body of a county, municipality, or special general assembly. Meaning concealed carry is permitted inside the building at any time other than during meetings.

However, you are allowed to open carry at any time, including inside meetings.

"Really all anybody would have to do if they were legally carrying a concealed weapon and they were asked to leave, is simply remove their coat and they'll be in compliance with state law," said Rick Williams, "the ordinance doesn't have any teeth in it."

The city commission will meet again January 2nd for the second hearing of the new ordinance and the final vote. They encourage all of the community to come and voice their feelings on the proposal.

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