Brainard vetoes weapons ordinance

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Mayor Jim Brainard has vetoed an ordinance banning firearms and other deadly weapons from City Hall.

The City Council approved ordinance D-2055-11 with a 4-2 vote on Oct. 19. Councilman Ron Carter was absent and councilors Kevin Rider and John Accetturo voted against the ordinance. With no immediate plans to add security personnel or install a metal detector in City Hall, Rider and Accetturo said the ordinance could not be enforced and therefore is unnecessary.

Brainard said screening for weapons in City Hall could have negative repercussions.

“If the city were to enact this law and then screen every person entering City Hall and a weapon is snuck into the building and used to harm someone, the taxpayers would be liable for three times the normal recovery as well as attorney fees for both parties,” Brainard said in an e-mail.  “This constitutes an unacceptable  liability for taxpayers.  To enact this law and not screen all members of the public that visited City Hall would also put the taxpayers at risk for a judgment  and attorney fees.   I am also concerned that if the ordinance was enacted and we did not screen that only the ‘bad’ guys would have weapons in the building.  Money was not appropriated for screening when the ordinance was passed.”

The council is expected to act on the veto at Monday night’s meeting, 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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