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Whiteville looks at new firearms ordinance Tuesday, April 10

By Allen Turner, The News Reporter

The Whiteville City Council will a consider a proposed new ordinance Tuesday that rewrites several older town ordinances related to firearms that are scattered throughout the current code.

“The draft ordinance was written so that city officials and citizens may be better able to research our city code regarding these matters,” City Manager Darren Currie wrote in a memo to elected officials. “Creating this chapter provides an opportunity to address some citizen concerns, as well as for some city staff, regarding firearms and weapons.”

The meeting gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at 24 Hill Plaza.

Officials also will consider a parks and recreation facilities rental policy and establishment of a city-wide video surveillance policy.

Under the proposed firearms ordinance to be considered, auxiliary police officers can carry weapons only on the express order of the police chief, dangerous weapons are prohibited, weapons and “vicious animals” would not be permitted at demonstrations or assemblies.

Contrary to what has been reported by a local television news outlet, display of weapons in city buildings and parks would be prohibited under the new ordinance. Exceptions would apply only to sworn law enforcement and animal control officers, and military personnel U.S. civil officers in the performance of their official duties. Weapons for “ceremonial purposes” would be permitted to people having a written permit from the police chief.

The ordinance requires the posting of signs prohibiting weapons and outlaws the discharge of any firearm in the city limits except when used in defense of a person or property or in response to directions from law enforcement officers.

It also specifically would prohibit concealed handguns in city recreational facilities or any other facility used for athletic events. Discharging of fireworks would be prohibited without a permit from the city fire marshal.

Stuart Rogers