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MailTribune.com
  • Ashland decides against open carry ban

    Proposed ordinance was debated for months and touched off some gun-rights protests
  • ASHLAND — The Ashland City Council decided on Tuesday night not to ban the open carrying of loaded guns in town.
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  • ASHLAND — The Ashland City Council decided on Tuesday night not to ban the open carrying of loaded guns in town.
    Mayor John Stromberg said pro-gun rights advocates had stated they would carry their guns in Ashland in protest of the proposed ban during Fourth of July festivities, which attract thousands of residents and tourists.
    Advocates had previously staged at least one protest in which they carried guns openly downtown, and attended several council meetings armed.
    For months, councilors and area residents had debated a proposed ordinance brought forward by people concerned about guns that would have banned the open carrying of loaded guns in public places in Ashland, unless the person had a concealed weapons permit.
    "It was divisive and it was causing people to open carry," Stromberg said of the proposed ban.
    Since the ordinance was brought forward, people on different sides of the gun issue have been meeting to figure out common ground. The mayor and some councilors have been attending those meetings.
    Councilor Pam Marsh said the ordinance splintered the community, but people should be able to come together to support actions such as educating children about gun safety.
    Councilor Carol Voisin voted alone against a motion that blocked the ban.
    She said councilors had previously gutted a stronger proposal brought forward by residents concerned about rampant gun violence in the United States.
    City Attorney Dave Lohman had researched the stronger proposal and said aspects could invite expensive lawsuits against the city of Ashland.
    Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.
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