Jackson, Wyoming Town Council Belligerence Towards Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 7 months ago

Jackson Hole News & Guide:

In an effort to bring the town of Jackson in line with Wyoming law, the Town Council is on track to repeal a decades-old ordinance that bans concealed weapons.

The law dates back to the 1970s and outlaws people from having any kind of hidden weapon, including pistols and knives, but also dirks, daggers and “swords-in-canes.”

The potential change is part of an effort by the town to update older parts of the municipal code, but some town officials have paused on the concealed carry ordinance.

Councilor Jim Stanford pointed out that this is a rare instance in which the state has moved to take away local control.

“I disagree vigorously with the Wyoming Legislature usurping local authority to regulate guns within our municipal boundaries,” Stanford said. “And I believe that if this faced a court test it wouldn’t stand up.”

Generally, state statute allows local laws to be more restrictive but not less so than state law. As an example, law enforcement officials said that means that a town can reduce the speed limit on a state road, but can’t raise it.

Stanford said the state’s moves, which are contrary to that concept and came in the form of the Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act, are attempting to force “extremist ideology” on localities. Through the act, instituted several years ago, the state is essentially taking over regulation of concealed weapons, he said.

Other town officials didn’t totally disagree with his thinking.

“I do find it interesting how we’re for local authority until we’re not,” said Mayor Sara Flitner.

But, practically speaking, she and other town officials said they had to update the municipal code to keep it in line with Wyoming’s laws.

The Jackson Town Council has approved the first two readings to repeal the ordinance with 3-1 votes. Stanford voted against the measure each time, including earlier this week. The repeal likely will be up for a third and final approval at a Town Council meeting later this month.

Last winter my wife and I took an extended trip to Jackson, Wyoming, in part to ski, in part to visit the surrounding area.  We visited your wonderful restaurants, from the exquisite cuisine at The Gun Barrel, to Bubba’s Barbecue.  I have eaten barbecue from North Carolina to Texas, and I have said to others that I have never had it so good as Bubba’s in Jackson.  In fact, I have recommended that others go to Jackson Hole as well, the visit being so good and relaxing.  It was indeed a memorable time for us.

But there is a problem.  I noticed bus drivers open carrying, and as an open carrier myself and my home state being a traditional open carry state, I fully support that.  But being new to the area, I didn’t want to do that, and concealed while we were in Jackson.  That’s right.  I am proud to announce that I violated your stupid ordinance.  I didn’t know about it, to be sure.  But violate it I did.  It would have been easy to fix.  I could have just switched to open carry if I had only know.  And therein lies the problem, don’t you think?  The mere act of switching where I was carrying my weapon would have made the difference between being approved and not in Jackson.  But I’m glad I carried concealed if for no other reason than to prove a point, because you are the ones who are in violation of the law.  God’s providence is good and sometimes humorous and amusing, don’t you think?

Your ordinance is underhanded, illegal and immoral all at the same time.  It is underhanded in that unsuspecting, peaceable men like me could get caught up in your idiotic, pompous belligerence towards your own state.  It is immoral in that you could cause peaceable men like me to run afoul of your ordinances.  It is illegal because it violates Wyoming Code 6-8-401(c), which reads “no city, town, county, political subdivision or any other entity shall authorize, regulate or prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use, carrying or possession of firearms, weapons, accessories, components or ammunition.”

It’s called state preemption, and you know all about it.  You hate it.  I’ve observed about your kind before that “It’s an odious thing when local yokels (who are usually elected in elections that aren’t well attended and who are usually unknown until they act out their Napoleon fantasies upon others) presume to tell their townships what to do about everything under the sun.  Totalitarianism doesn’t just happen inside the beltway.”

And again, “I am a long standing and diehard advocate of State’s rights, even to the extent that I don’t think the federal court system should be invoked when local gun control is concerned.  All gun politics is local, I have said.  The corollary is that in order to prevent local hicks, ne’er-do-wells and criminals from acting out their Napoleon fantasies upon other men, association with the state means that – assuming robust gun rights laws already exist – local municipalities and townships shouldn’t be able to preempt state laws.  The state is the right size for law-making and control.  Our founding fathers were wise.”

The councilman who said “if this faced a court test it wouldn’t stand up” – Mr. Stanford – is an idiot.  State preemption is tried, tested, proven, and legal.  Towns and cities cannot override state law unless explicitly stated so in state law.

The only “extremist ideology” here is being expressed by Mr. Stanford.  Shame on you, and a thousand times shame on you.  The carry of weapons is a God-given right, and protection of human life is a God-given duty.  As for the city council, you are in violation of state law, placing at risk peaceable men who don’t know about your stupid ordinance, and wasting valuable time and resources sticking your nose up in the air and being offended that you can’t override state law.

The whole episode is unseemly, obscene and [should be] embarrassing to you.  You’re acting out in a tantrum as if you were little children.  This needs to end, and you need to bring Jackson into full compliance with State law in a timely manner.  And then you need to move on about the business of the city without so much smugness, condescension, pomp and arrogance.  You aren’t a board of kings, and you don’t get to fabricate just any law you wish.  If my readers want to send you notes saying the same thing, I’ll list your web site.

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Comments

  1. On January 11, 2016 at 11:07 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    ” “I do find it interesting how we’re for local authority until we’re not,” said Mayor Sara Flitner.”

    Right. Except in this case, “local authority” is terminology for usurping citizen’s rights to protect themselves and their families in the manner they choose.

    But hey – Ms. Flitner and Mr. Stanford here’s an idea. You use “local authority” and pass a law under which, anyone proscribed by you from carrying their concealed pistol, knife, dirk, dagger and/or swords-in-cane can sue the city for any harm that befalls them as a result of being unable to carry their self defense tool concealed. Since you know that police have no legal duty to protect any individual citizen, a slight change in “local authority” is all that should be necessary.

    Just think – you can break new ground here by putting the taxpayers’ money where your mouth is — assuring legal recourse for those you disarmed. Since the taxpaying citizens of Jackson Hole voted you in, they should all be happy to pay for any and all civil judgments paid out to an aggrieved party – or to their survivors. Right?

  2. On January 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm, henrybowman said:

    Absolutely. I bet if somebody explained to this jackass that he also can’t locally establish segregated drinking fountains for the coloreds, he’d throw a fit.

  3. On January 11, 2016 at 11:49 am, Fred said:

    “extremist ideology”

    Guns in Wyoming is extremist? Does this gentleman know where he is? Has he ever read a book?

  4. On January 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm, Danny Ray said:

    Jackson is an example of Californacation as my friends in Idaho call ot

  5. On January 11, 2016 at 11:54 pm, SunwolfNC said:

    Denver’s the same way in CO. Dallas in TX.
    Each state, I think, has their own, special, snowflake of a progressive city…

  6. On January 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm, Damocles said:

    Jackson is Wyoming’s leftist paradise in an otherwise red state, but the point is moot because we have statewide preemption here. They have to fall in line with state law.

  7. On January 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    No they don’t. Seattle just passed its own sin tax on guns and ammunition and had it upheld in court. They’re appealing, but everyone knows gun control — like queer marriage, socialized medicine, and drivers licenses for illegal aliens — is a Good Thing, and of course the appeal will fail. So will yours. Watch.

  8. On January 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Wish I could disagree with you. But I worked in the legal field, and find your post right on. So – how many options do we have?

  9. On January 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    Armed civil disobedience. Stage an Open Carry Day and do it every damn year.

  10. On January 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm, Ned Weatherby said:

    Or maybe – every day…

  11. On January 13, 2016 at 11:30 am, White Hat from TX said:

    Or maybe in this case, a concealed carry day every day as Ned suggest…

  12. On January 13, 2016 at 1:32 pm, Joe Martin said:

    Yes they do. Seattle is in another state.. In Wyoming the people have all the power and that power is lent to the state. Not the cities and towns. Historically the state has lent its power to the cities and towns because the distances and small populations involved in Wyoming. The cites were expected to pay for what they did. But today most towns and cities in Wyoming couldnt survive without the state and federal monies.
    And the Wyoming constitution specifically says:
    The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.

  13. On January 13, 2016 at 4:43 pm, Dana King said:

    Everyone seems to forget that the courts are simply another branch of government. If “government” is corrupt, and/or tyrannical, you can bet you life that the courts are corrupt as well. In fact history teaches, for those who pay attention to those sorts of things, that corruption of the courts is the chosen tool of tyrants. The fathers of the founders discovered and identified it as the “malignant and pernicious design”. Google it for some interesting reading.

  14. On January 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm, BehindLinesInSeattle said:

    Seattle has lost the gun preemption legal battle before. Back when Mayor Nichols tried to ban CCW in city parks, a city judge upheld it and a state judge reversed it on appeal. Expect that to happen again with regards to the city tax.

  15. On January 11, 2016 at 12:44 pm, USMC69 said:

    Stupid laws is what keeps this country from getting better. One should not cross some invisible line (city limit boundary) and go from law-abiding to criminal.

  16. On January 11, 2016 at 10:12 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-gun-ordinance-to-get-public-hearing/article_44347840-8c0a-55e9-a172-1ba1773ff2f9.html

    It’s everywhere. Even in rural Montana.

    I call it the blue-state melanoma for a reason.

  17. On January 13, 2016 at 9:46 am, UNCLEELMO said:

    I’m sure every town/city that has a public university has or will have this problem.

  18. On January 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm, ChupaMe said:

    Stanford is from Long Island and was an Obama delegate to the Democratic National convention.

    ‘Nuff said.

  19. On January 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm, Joe Martin said:

    Well, Unless you had a out of state concealed carry permit you couldnt conceal carry in Wyoming anyhow.

  20. On January 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I do.

  21. On January 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm, Joe Martin said:

    A lot of people come to Wyoming and think that they can conceal carry without a permit. You would be surprised just how may. However the Law is specific to residents only.

    Anyhow. Thanks for all the good work.

  22. On January 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm, cpeters said:

    Have any of you tried the Urban Carry Concealed Holster? http://www.urbancarryholsters.com or @urbancarry

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You are currently reading "Jackson, Wyoming Town Council Belligerence Towards Gun Rights", entry #14567 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 10th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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