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Council Shoots Down Conceal Carry Idea

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Category: Voice Forums
Forum Name: The Voice
Forum Description: Monroe, Ohio news, information and opinions
Printed Date: Jan 25 2021 at 6:16am

Topic: Council Shoots Down Conceal Carry Idea
Posted By: Monroe News
Subject: Council Shoots Down Conceal Carry Idea
Date Posted: Apr 13 2018 at 10:42am

Mr. Hickman asked Chief Buchanan about the concealed carry for members of Council. Chief
Buchanan referred the matter to the Law Director. Mr. Hickman asked Mr. Callahan if Council
members that had a concealed carry permit could carry during Council meetings. Mr. Clark and
Mrs. McElfresh were not opposed to that. Mr. Callahan will provide Council with his opinion by
the next meeting.

Source: Monroe Council Minutes
Regular Meeting of Council
March 27, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
233 South Main Street, Monroe, Ohio

Monroe, Ohio Breaking News

Posted By: basser
Date Posted: Apr 13 2018 at 8:25pm
Not only for council meetings for council members only. Anyone attending a council meeting should be able to carry. Let’s have a even playing field.


Posted By: basser
Date Posted: Apr 14 2018 at 10:22pm
Chief Buchanan is in the council meetings. I would assume he is carrying a weapon. Why would Chief Buchanan defer to the Law Director? How many guns do we need at a council meeting? Hickman,Clark, and McElfresh should rethink this proposal. The voice of the Monroe people will likely not be heard due to intimidation.


Posted By: Todd
Date Posted: Apr 15 2018 at 10:42am
The proposal is for council members only. If the City Manager is wanting the general public or his employees to carry concealed at the city building then he would need to write legislation up and we would then need to vote on it. Right now it has not been determined if it possible to carry during Council meetings. Also the police chief is not at every meeting. He is only there when he has something to present to council.
We had a meeting about six weeks ago that had three officers there because of something that was said in court before our meeting. My thoughts were why do we only have one SRO for the entire school system and we have three officers here for seven members of council. I believe if the school board can vote to allow teachers to carry concealed at school then why couldn’t council vote to allow those council members who have a CCW permit carry during meetings.
If schools start allowing teachers to carry guns at school that doesn’t mean the general public can carry guns into schools and that would be the same at the city building if it is determined that council can carry during meetings. It would also need to be voted on by council before council could carry during meetings. If it goes through it really doesn’t mean that council will be carrying but it gives them the option to carry without being arrested.


Posted By: Houndog
Date Posted: Apr 15 2018 at 9:20pm
Wait. I get it. Its kinda like when the Hollywood stars, and the musicians and Washington elite tell the rest of us that guns are bad...while all the while they are surrounded by armed guards. 


Posted By: Doc
Date Posted: Apr 18 2018 at 9:42am
IMO, This is a VERY bad idea.
If there is serious concern for the safety of members of council then install metal detectors.

Posted By: John Beagle
Date Posted: Apr 19 2018 at 11:53am
Originally posted by Doc Doc wrote:

IMO, This is a VERY bad idea.
If there is serious concern for the safety of members of council then install metal detectors.

Not sure you would be against council members exercising their second amendment rights. Metal detectors would be expensive. Knowing council is carrying would be a much greater deterrent especially if warning signs were posted on the door:

"Council Members are allowed to conceal carry."

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell

Posted By: Doc
Date Posted: Apr 19 2018 at 4:24pm
You've never been in Executive Session.

Posted By: John Beagle
Date Posted: Apr 19 2018 at 6:26pm
Good point.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell

Posted By: basser
Date Posted: Apr 19 2018 at 10:29pm
What year is this? Video conferencing, podcast , Skype, etc. No need to ensure personal safety for anyone. No need for metal detectors, police officers.


Posted By: Todd
Date Posted: Apr 20 2018 at 7:45am
Nothing ever happens in Executive Session other than discussion/debate on the reason we went into Executive Session. There will be legislation written and voted on at our next meeting regarding concealed carry.


Posted By: Monroe News
Date Posted: Apr 25 2018 at 2:11pm

Mr.  Hickman  asked  the  Law  Director  about  the  status  of  the  concealed  carry  for  
Council Members.  Mr. Callahan stated that in the State of Ohio if you have a license to carry a 
handgun you can carry a handgun anywhere you want to with specified exceptions in the statute.  One 
of those is a government building but, that exception also says that Council can amend that unless 
your  government  building  is  a  courthouse  or  contains  a  courtroom.    In  those  situations 
 the exception is a mandatory exception in my opinion. No person shall knowingly possess or have 
under  the  persons  control  in  a  courthouse  and,  this  is  the  important  language,  or  in  
another building or structure in which a courtroom is located.  You have a Mayor’s Court  and this 
is the courtroom.   In  my opinion  because  of  that  exception,  Council  does  not have  the  
discretion  to permit people with concealed carry permits to have guns in this building

Mr. Clark disagreed with Mr. Callahan and was of the opinion that it is only a courtroom when 
Mayor’s Court is taking place.

Mr. Callahan disagreed and advised that the City of Wyoming adopted legislation November of last 
year that permitted people with concealed carry permits to come in their city building.   A month 
later they rescinded that legislation.   Mr. Callahan asked their law director how they got around 
the issue of having a mayor’s court in building.   Their law director was of the opinion that the 
statute was written with enough wiggle room to get around it.   Mr. Callahan   read the statute  
and  looked  around  the  Ohio  Revised  Code  to  find  a  definition  of  a  courtroom  and
couldn’t locate one.   He pointed out that there is Mayor’s Court every other Tuesday and other
times because they do have Mayor’s Court at a minimum every other Tuesday from about 3:30 – 4:00 
until around 6.

Mr.  Clark  agreed  it  is  a  courtroom  during  that  time  but,  small  facilities  like  us  do 
 not  have designated courtrooms 24 hours a day.  Mr. Callahan replied that the statute says 
nothing about a designated courtroom.  Mr. Clark’s opinion is that we look at the intent of the 
statute and that is to keep guns out of the courtroom and right now it is a City Council meeting 
and while Court is going on concealed carry is not permitted for obvious reasons.

Mr. Callahan stated that he can provide Council with his opinion; however, the ultimate decision 
lies with Council.

Mr. Clark asked why Wyoming rescinded the legislation.  Mr. Callahan replied that they did not 
anticipate the public reaction that they received.

Mr. Hickman indicated that as Council we could make a motion and actually pass it to conceal carry 
except during court.  Mr. Callahan disagreed.  Mr. Hickman stated that was Mr. Callahan’s personal 
opinion.  Mr. Callahan clarified it was his professional opinion as the Law Director.

Mayor  Routson  asked  how  judges  get  by  with  concealed  carry  in  their  courtrooms  and  
Mr. Callahan explained that there are exceptions to that rule none of which include the general 
public or  elected  officials.     Mayor  Routson  asked  if  Council  should  contact  some  of  
the  State Representatives to see if they can present legislation that might allow not just general 
public but, City Council to conceal carry.  Mr. Callahan agreed that would be a good idea.

Mr. Hickman  referenced  Butler  County allowing teachers  in school districts to carry and  then 
anybody  that  walks  up  there  on  the  school  could  also  carry.   He  didn’t  understand  why 
City Council couldn’t make that motion..

Mr. Callahan advised he does not represent school districts and it is not the same thing.   There 
are  separate  sections  in  the  statute  that  specifically deal  with  schools.   I  didn’t  
research  those because those don’t apply to my client.   You may be right if Council wants me to 
spend time researching  school laws on this side I would be glad to do that.  I didn’t do that in 
this situation because I don’t represent the schools and that is not what I was asked to do.

Mr. Clark used the example of a private business that is open to the public and wants to prohibit 
the public from carrying in their business except for the owner and asked if that is permissible. 
Mr.  Callahan  stated  they  are  different  from  governmental  entities  and  different  rules  
apply to private businesses.

Mr. Clark felt that declaring this as a courtroom is a little much since it is only used a few 
hours a month for court.

Mr. Callahan pointed out that we have arrests where the Magistrate has to come up here between 
court hearings to have a hearing to meet a statutory time frame so, I could make the argument

that this room is a courtroom 24 hours a day 7 days a week.   Whenever Magistrate Nerenberg
determines that he has to have a hearing this is where he is going to have it.

Mr. Clark asked if it is possible for a governmental entity to say people can carry concealed in 
one  particular  area  but  not  another  area.    Mr.  Callahan  it  could  be  done  if  this  
were  not  a courtroom as the statute reads in another building or structure in which a courtroom 
is located.

Mr.  Funk  did  not  believe  the  courtroom  operates  24  hours  and  what  Mr.  Clark  is  
saying, technically,  this  is  used  for  another  purpose.   Mr.  Clark  said  this  isn’t  just  
used  for  another purpose the courtroom purpose here is pretty limited and not a lot of hours in 
the day is this a courtroom.

Mr.  Callahan  suggested  that  if  Council  is  inclined  to  do  this  that  they  consult  your  
law enforcement  officers  that  guard  your  council  chambers/courtroom  or  your  magistrate.    
He explained that if you go to municipal court, county court, or common pleas court  everyone that 
walks through there on court day walks through a metal detector and has to empty their pockets. If 
you are inclined to do this then you may want to determine that is a wise thing to do because if 
you  say  if  you  have  a  valid  concealed  carry  permit  now  you  are  allowed  to  come  into 
 this building but, we have no way to determine who is going to come into this room on court day. 
Mr. Callahan reported that there was a rather contentious trial today and he is not sure he would 
have  felt  comfortable  thinking  that  the  gentleman  we  had  in  here  today,  that  we  
prosecuted, potentially  had  a  concealed  carry  permit  and  had  a  gun.   Mr.  Callahan  would 
 have  rather  he walked through a metal detector or be subject to search.  Mr. Clark noted that we 
have no way of knowing that now and it is a separate issue and doesn’t believe it is related to 
this issue.

Mr.  Hickman  asked  Chief  Buchanan  if  he  was  okay  with  Council  carrying  concealed.   
Chief Buchanan replied that as long as you go through the legal requirements he has no problem with 
someone carrying a concealed weapon.  He enforces the law as it stands and doesn’t  interpret it. 
Chief Buchanan added that if Council adopted legislation he would enforce that until a higher 
authority makes a different determination.

Mr. Callahan advised that the Wyoming information will be included in the Council packets for
the next meeting.

Mr. Brock asked that Council consider the staff that works in here most of the time.   Council 
meetings are only twice per month.  The environment that his staff works in now, the change that 
would cause.  Just consider that effect.  Mr. Hickman asked if Mr. Brock wants them to carry or not 
to carry.   Mr. Brock stated that he is hearing that Council is going to allow concealed carry 
within this building.  Mr. Hickman corrected him and advised that they are talking about Council 
only.  Mr. Brock asked that Council have consideration for that staff that is here.  Mr. Brock has 
heard from the Law Director that Council can only consider Council members.   Mr. Hickman pointed 
out that Council can adopt any legislation they want whether or not it passes.  The only
thing he has brought up to Council is for only Council members only.

Mr. Callahan gave Council the opinion that because there is a courtroom in the building it cannot 
be done and did not believe that it could be limited to only Council members.  If there wasn’t a 
courtroom in the building it would probably be easier to exclude rooms.

Mr.  Hickman  felt  that  we  are  doing  exactly  what  the  schools  are  doing  wherein  
teachers  can carry but no one else can.  Mr. Callahan reported that the only school he is familiar 
with that has actually done something on this and he has looked at what they did, is the Mad River 
School District.  What they did is  authorized certain members of staff to have access to firearms 
during school day.  Those staff members are not authorized to carry guns on their hip in classrooms 
or a gun  in  their  drawer.   They  have  a  specific  location  in  the  building  where  there  
are  firearms. Certain members of the staff under certain circumstances can access those firearms.  
 I am not aware  of  any  school  district  that  has  passed  legislation  internally  that  has  
said  if  you  are  a concealed carry permit holder and you are a teacher you can have your gun in 
your classroom.  I could be wrong, but I am not aware of it.  Mr. Callahan will perform more 
research on limiting it to only Council members.

Source: Monroe Council Minutes 
Regular Meeting of Council
April 10, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.

Monroe, Ohio Breaking News

Posted By: Monroe News
Date Posted: May 04 2018 at 9:23am
Resolution No. 24-2018.  A Resolution authorizing Members of City Council who hold a valid 
concealed carry permit pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code to carry a concealed weapon during 
meetings of City Council and meetings of Council Committees at specific City-owned facilities.

Mayor Routson had questions he would like answered prior to the second reading.   One is the effect 
it would have on our insurance rates.  We asked for a response from staff noting that Mr. Brock 
provided his opinion; however, he would like more of staff’s response.   Mayor Routson stated that 
he spoke with the Butler County Prosecutor, Mike Gmoser and he would like to  have a  copy  of  the 
 resolution.    Mayor  Routson  advised  Mr.  Gmoser  that  there  were  additional documents that 
we could send to him.

Mr. Clark asked if we wanted to table it and Mayor Routson felt that Council didn’t need to table 
it as they will see how it goes after the first reading and, if we don’t have the answers by the 
second reading, we can table it then.

Mrs. McElfresh requested the cost to have an officer posted outside Council meetings.   Mayor gave 
the example of Area II Court where you have to walk through a metal detector.  He doesn’t believe  
we  need  anything  that  big,  but  felt  that  a  police  officer  might  be  an  option.   Mayor 
Routson noticed that there there has been some conversations where some feel uneasy sitting up here 
but, I want to make sure everything is proper.

Mr. Funk pointed out that most of the conversation has been if we are able to pass the legislation 
but, we have not talked about the need.   He stated he has his CCW and hasn’t felt the need to 
carry during meeting of Council and would like to hear more of those opinions.

Mr. Clark was of the opinion that it is more of having it and not needing it rather than need it 
and not having it.  You may not feel the need today; however, if the need arises you have it.  It 
is the same reason you have your concealed carry.  The reason you get that is not because you 
actually expect to get into armed confrontations.   In fact when they teach those classes, they 
teach you how to avoid armed confrontations.  It is all about it is about responsibility.  
Concealed carry has been  a  part  of  life  in  Ohio  for  a  long  time.   Mr.  Clark  noted  
that  he  liked  the  questions  that Mayor Routson brought up.

Mr. Hickman stated that just because we pass this doesn’t mean you have to carry a gun in here. It 
is passed as an option for you to do that.  If you feel like you need to carry.  There have been a 
couple of occasions where Mr. Hickman thought maybe it would have been a good idea to carry
since he has been on Council.  This legislation gives you an opportunity if you have a concealed

carry.  Mr. Hickman further stated that as far as staff and other people carrying that would be up
to Mr. Brock and whether he would want his staff carrying.

In response to Mr. Funk’s comment, Mr. Frentzel advised that he has never felt the need to bring 
one.   He  agreed  with  Mr.  Clark’s  comment  that  you  may  not  necessarily  feel  the  need  
now; however, Mr. Frentzel is concerned about the outward perception that this puts of not only 
what happens in here but what happens in the City.   I know there have been a few people that have 
told members of Council they saw this in the news and have questioned what his going on in Monroe 
that we now have to consider this.   Mr. Frentzel indicated that he has not spoken with Mrs. 
Patterson about this specific issue but, she has given a presentation showing that potential 
businesses that come to the City do a Google search and anything that pops up, whether good, bad, 
or indifferent, forms their opinion of whether they want to bring that business or not.

Mr. Clark commented that people carry responsibly every single day and does not consider that to be 
a negative as it it is an ordinary part of life.

Mr. Frentzel acknowledged that he has his CCW and I understood that the people that have it are 
more responsible people as far as gun owners.

Mrs. McElfresh expression her opinion that if you are going to open it up to allow Council to carry 
it should be open to everybody and she isn’t sure Council would like to do that.

Mr.  Hickman  pointed  out  that  the  Butler  County Sheriff  is  training  teachers  in  schools  
and  it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be allowed to carry in the school it just means that 
that certain teachers are  going to be  able to carry.   He stated it is basically the same thing 
we  are doing here.

Mr. Clark indicated that staff and visitors carrying is s a separate discussion and a different 
piece of legislation.

Mr. Hickman stated that the City Manager would have to decide if he would want people in the 
community or his staff carrying and doesn’t believe that is something that Council should push for.

Mrs. McElfresh did not want this perceived as something that is discriminatory in nature.

Mayor Routson felt comfortable passing as a first reading and not comfortable passing it on a 
second reading yet.

Mr. Clark also felt comfortable passing it on the first reading and waiting for the questions to be 
answered before considering adopting it on the second reading.

Mrs. Hale did not feel this is needed at the present time and would vote no.

Mr. Clark moved to consider this the first reading of Resolution No. 24-2018 and have it read by
title only; seconded by Mr. Hickman.  Voice vote.  Motion carried.  Mrs. Hale nay.

The Clerk of Council read Resolution No. 24-2018 by title only.
Mr. Clark moved to approve the first reading of Resolution No. 24-2018; seconded by Mr. Funk.
Roll call vote: five ayes; two nays (Frentzel and Hale). Motion carried.

Source: Monroe Council Agenda
Regular Meeting of Council
April 24, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
233 South Main Street, Monroe, Ohio

Monroe, Ohio Breaking News

Posted By: Max HC
Date Posted: May 07 2018 at 11:47pm
Monroe City Council has a MS-13 problem and it must act immediately.

Posted By: John Beagle
Date Posted: May 08 2018 at 9:26am
With all the crazy people out there doing harm to people, being prepared is always the best policy. I feel much safer at an NRA convention than at a conservative speaker event at Berkley. 

Joking around is fine. But please work on your material a bit. It is getting stale.


The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
-Joseph Campbell

Posted By: Houndog
Date Posted: May 08 2018 at 10:32pm
With that said. Im sure you feel that same way I do. This is a terrible limitation to the freedom of all but those who sit on council. There by telling the other ~13,000 citizens of this city that their protection is not valid. Their rights, under the 2nd Amendment, is not as valid as those who sit on council.


Posted By: Todd
Date Posted: May 08 2018 at 11:02pm
Houndog you will be glad to know that it went down 4 to 2. What do you think about teachers carrying and the general public not being allowed?


Posted By: Houndog
Date Posted: May 09 2018 at 6:23pm
Todd, I think its BS. If people want guns in schools then I think any citizen who wants to put their conceal carry permit on file at the school should be allowed to carry into that building.  Allowing a few teachers to carry is nothing but good optics for the NRA. Lets put guns in schools. Lets put guns everywhere.
Im purely a freedom of choice kind of guy. In this country a person is far more likely to die from consuming all of the garbage we call food than they are being shot.  But yet, feel that a pistol in their pocket is going to save their life. Therein lies the beauty of this great nation. The real American dream is delusion. 



Posted By: basser
Date Posted: May 10 2018 at 9:22pm
People that think they should be armed but others should not, obviously don’t agree with the Second Amendment. Furthermore, local, county or state police having military-grade weapons goes against the grain of the Second Amendment. I am far from being a legal scholar, but wasn’t the whole purpose of the Second Amendment to prevent a tyrannical government? Finally, because we have the Second Amendment, why should any American have to obtain a permit to carry at all?


Posted By: Monroe News
Date Posted: May 21 2018 at 1:55pm

Resolution No. 24-2018.  A Resolution authorizing Members of City Council who hold a valid 
concealed carry permit pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code to carry a concealed weapon during 
meetings of City Council and meetings of Council Committees at specific City-owned facilities. 
(Second Reading)

Mr.  Clark  suggested  tabling  this  legislation  until  we  receive  the  Butler  County  

Rob  Beglin,  representing  the  City’s  insurance  company,  informed  Council  that  the  
proposed legislation was discussed with the underwriters.   We cannot tell  you what laws  you 
should or shouldn’t pass.  It would be approximately $400 per individual for concealed carry.  In 
addition, you are impinging on other people’s second amendment right if you limit it to only public 
officials. The public officials liability policy would need to be reviewed and possibly increased.  
You could have an employee that is not comfortable with this file suit for a hostile work 
environment.  The concealed carry issue is being tested every day.

Mr. Hickman asked if Mr. Beglin insured school districts and Mr. Beglin replied that they do not 
and he does not have any clients that allow Council members to conceal carry.   They do have 
firefighters that can conceal carry at the additional $400 per individual rate.

Mr. Hickman moved to table Resolution No. 24-2018; seconded by Mr. Clark.   Roll call vote: three 
ayes; three nays (Funk, Hale, McElfresh nay).  Motion failed.

Mr. Funk is not against gun ownership or conceal carry and stated that Council meetings, similar to 
court, are considered an open forum. These are times that can get intense and we want our residents 
to come before us and feel comfortable.  He felt that police presence can be increased.

Mr. Clark is of the opinion that the purpose of the concealed carry is that nobody knows you have 
it.  It is a situation where the seven people up here are all well vetted.  It is a question of why 
not and not why.  The crime rate for people that have concealed carry is far lower than those that 
do not have a concealed carry.

Mr.  Funk  is  also  a  big  supporter  and  could  support  everyone  being  able  to  carry and  
not  just Council Members.

Mrs. McElfresh pointed out that our law enforcement in this same building is better are trained for 

Mr.  Hickman  stated  this  was  brought  up  because  we  had  an  experience  with  a  resident  
a  few meetings ago. It was also brought up when he had a situation where a person told a 
government agency that someone was going to kill him.  That night, Mr. Hickman had to go to Council 
and there was no police officer here.  Mr. Hickman referenced his proposal to ban confederate flags 
in the parks.  After that he was getting a lot of contact from people from out of town.  He stated 
that his relative was shot at Madison High School and there was sheriff right outside the 
cafeteria.  Mr. Hickman advised it is not just because of a resident that was here it has to do 
with the option to carry if you feel the need and he should be able to carry when he feels the 

Mr. Clark felt that there is a heightened level being a Council member more so that other people.

Mr. Frentzel commented that you would never be truly safe as someone could be sitting in the Brandy 
Wine parking lot across the street.   If this does pass tonight we need to come up with additional 

Mr. Funk stated that if this passes and it discourages any number of residents from coming in here,
we have done Monroe a disservice.

Mr. Frentzel referenced some of the staff comments that some would not want to come to Council 
meetings if this passes.

Mrs. Hale moved to consider this the second reading of Resolution No. 24-2018 and have it read by 
title only; seconded by Mr. Funk.  Voice vote.  Motion carried.

The Clerk of Council read Resolution No. 24-2018 by title only.

Mrs. Hale moved to adopt Resolution 24-2018; seconded by Mr. Hickman.  Roll call vote:  two
ayes; four nays (Frentzel, Funk, Hale, McElfresh).  Motion failed.

Source: Monroe Council Minutes
Regular Meeting of Council
May 8, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
233 South Main Street, Monroe, Ohio

Monroe, Ohio Breaking News

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