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Should the City of Ashland prohibit the carrying of loaded firearms in public places?
In an expected repeat of the full house which greeted City staff and elected representatives at a Study Session last month on the subject, tonight’s Ashland City Council meeting will hold a public hearing to consider such an ordinance, sponsored by Councilor Carol Voisin at the behest of a petition launched by Citizens for a Safe Ashland. Supporters claim that “very modest limits on firearms increase police departments’ ability to ensure public safety, decrease public alarm, and decrease the risk of gun violence” while opponents such as the Oregon Firearms Federation characterize the ordinance as “intended only to harass legitimate gun owners and will have no effect on law-breakers.”
According to a report by City Attorney Dave Lohman, the draft open carry ordinance is similar to ones adopted by the cities of Beaverton, Portland, Salem, Oregon City, Newport and Astoria. Local citizens made their voice heard via the Open City Hall portal on the City’s website, and may get the final say on the matter; an option before the Council tonight is to refer the matter to the voters in the November election.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center at 1175 East Main St. and will be carried live on cable Channel 15 and streaming live at rvtv.sou.edu.