Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Northport Gun Laws Meeting Draws Hundreds

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Northport Gun Laws Meeting Draws Hundreds

Article excerpt

NORTHPORT | A couple hundred gun owners and enthusiasts told local legislators Tuesday night at the Northport Civic Center that they have a constitutional right to carry weapons.

According to some of the gun advocates, local elected officials who pass bans on openly carried guns should be thrown in jail and prosecuted for violating the Second Amendment.

Most said they felt that local and federal laws were slowly chipping away at their rights to carry arms, and they asked the legislators to do something about it.

"We are slowly being gobbled up by the government that keeps eating up and eating up our laws," said Eddie Fulmer, a member of the gun open-carry advocacy group, BamaCarry. "The elephant is huge."

The meeting largely focused on recent local ordinances restricting the open carrying of guns on city property. In September 2011, the Northport City Council proposed a ban on openly carried guns on city property, including the City Hall and city-owned public parks like Kentuck. In October 2011, that proposed ordinance was amended to be less restrictive, instead duplicating state law regarding open carrying of weapons.

While it isn't illegal to openly carry guns on city property and parks in Northport, officials have said it is not permitted, and that anyone who walks into a city-owned building or park with a gun openly displayed is asked to leave.

For Tuesday's night meeting, held at the city-owned Civic Center, attendees were asked to leave their firearms in their vehicles, stating Alabama Code 13A-11-59, which bans openly carried guns during events that are considered demonstrations.

Tuscaloosa has also banned openly carried guns on city property. Its ordinance, passed in 2010, bans long guns -- shotguns and rifles -- from all city buildings and facilities. Because of the state law that limits the authority of cities to pass laws regarding handguns, the ordinance states that anyone possessing one on city property could be charged with trespassing.

At the meeting, State Sen. …

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