Coeur d'Alene says 'no' again to guns at parades

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by TAYLOR VIYDO & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 6:15 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 3 at 11:15 AM

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho -- City Council members in North Idaho narrowly upheld a ban on firearms at parades in Coeur d'Alene.

The council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday night to uphold the ban put in place a decade prior. The city made it illegal to bring guns to parades in the wake of several public demonstrations from white supremacist groups. They cited public safety as their chief concern at the time.

Earlier in 2014, City Councilman Steve Adams proposed lifting the ban, citing an Idaho State Law which forbids cities from creating ordinances regulating the possession of firearms. But state law also gives cities power to prevent parades and assemblies from getting disorderly. Some city officials said the laws conflict each other.

"By regulating that, it seems like you would have the power under one statute, and the other statute it seems like you can't do it," said Coeur d'Alene's City Attorney Mike Gridley.

Another proponent of lifting the ban was City Council Member Dan Gookin.

"One of my highest duties here as an elected official is to protect peoples' rights," Gookin said to cheers. "One of those rights is the right to keep and bear arms, so I cannot support this."

On the other hand, supporters of keeping the gun ban in place argued there hasn't been any complaints about the current ordinance.

"It hasn't been challenged," said Councilman Ron Edinger. "Let somebody challenge it. Let somebody challenge it and go from there."

There are some exceptions to the gun ban at parades. Law enforcement officers, soldiers, and veterans are all able to carry firearms at parades in Coeur d'Alene.

It is not clear if Coeur d'Alene will bring the debate up again in the future.

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