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City passes ordinance banning guns from 'sensitive areas'

COLUMBUS — The Columbus City Council has adopted an ordinance to keep guns out of what they called “sensitive areas” in the city.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that the ordinance was passed on a 5-1 vote.

Areas where guns would be prohibited include public meetings of the mayor and council; meetings of other city commissions within city limits; parks and community centers on park property; political rallies; parades; official political meetings; school property; non-firearm related professional athletic events; and municipal court when in session.

The ordinance exempts uniformed law enforcement officers on duty, people authorized by the mayor and council to possess a firearm and people with enhanced conceal carry permits issued by the state.

Councilman Charlie Box voted against the ordinance.

“I can’t in good conscience vote for anything that limits the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Columbus and the United States,” Box said.

City attorney Jeff Turnage said the ordinance follows state open carry law. Turnage said the ordinance does not include areas outside city buildings.

First offenders of the ordinance would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $100 to $350. A repeat violation within three years of the first would also be a misdemeanor and subject to a $350 to $500 fine. A third would be guilty of a misdemeanor and carry a fine of $500 to $999 and 30 to 90 days in jail as dictated by the council.

Columbus police will enforce the new ordinance.

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