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April 24, 2013

Safety’s off in GBC (w/resolution text)

GUN BARREL CITY — As the ongoing debate rages on regarding gun control, elected officials in Gun Barrel City are anxious to let residents know where they stand.

Those officials — particularly Mayor Paul Eaton — shot straight with their opinions at Tuesday’s meeting of the Gun Barrel City Council.

The council voted unanimously for a non-binding resolution “supporting heads of households to maintain firearms.” The vote, which went into the city records as five in favor and none opposed, was little more than a symbolic gesture — something council members acknowledged. State and federal firearms laws already prescribe specific guidelines for legal gun ownership, most notably in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution was drafted by Eaton, who said he wants his constituents to “be responsible and engaged.” Bringing the resolution before the council for a vote, Eaton said, was his way of affirming to the citizens of Gun Barrel City their right to own firearms.

However, the resolution goes on to state that those exempt from using firearms should include citizens who “suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using a firearm” and “paupers or those who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine.” 

Asked to clarify portions of the resolution after the meeting, Eaton said he doesn’t believe people who are poor should not have the right to carry legal firearms.

He also said he doesn’t believe more laws will keep firearms away from “bad people.” He said when he worked in construction in New York, he came into contact with mafia-type people who he said owned guns illegally.

“We need to get the guns from the bad guys,” he said.

In other council news:

• City Manager Gerry Boren explained to the council Chili's restaurant is asking to file a petition for a Restaurant Mix license. If Chili's is granted such a license, it will no longer require a Unicard system to serve alcoholic beverages.

• The council  unanimously voted for a 180-day moratorium on the acceptance of applications for the issuance or renewal of permits for new construction on certain properties and all commercial properties located within the city's Agriculture District. Boren explained the city and the Planning & Zoning Commission will need to make sure all property is zoned correctly.

• The council appointed Ann Mullins to the Planning & Zoning Commission for a term to expire in October 2015.

• Greer Yeldell, CPA presented the council with the annual financial report for the year ending September 30, 2012. The council voted to accept the audit report.

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