Red Bank votes for guns in parks

Red Bank votes for guns in parks

July 22nd, 2009 in News

EAST RIDGE GUN BAN

East Ridge city council members will hear public comment on their proposal to ban guns in public parks and greenways at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1517 Tombras Ave.

It was standing room only Tuesday night at Red Bank City Hall as the board of commissioners voted to allow the carrying of guns in parks.

The commission voted 4-1 against a resolution that would prohibit weapons in parks. Mayor Joe Glasscock was the only commission member to vote in favor of the resolution.

Also Tuesday evening, Vice Mayor Monty Millard issued a statement regarding his recent arrest. He said he was "falsely and unjustly arrested." He also displayed the title to his vehicle, which records show he was accused of burglarizing by his estranged wife.

"It has been an embarrassment to me," Mr. Millard said. "And my family and my 35 years of service to this community have been tarnished."

By turning down the proposed resolution, Red Bank becomes the first municipality in the area to vote in favor of allowing licensed individuals to carry guns in local parks. The city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, the town of Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain, Tenn., all have passed ordinances or resolutions banning guns in parks. East Ridge will take up the matter Thursday.

The commission allowed three proponents of guns in parks and three people opposed to speak before the vote.

Commissioner Floy Pierce said she had been against allowing guns in parks until she heard so much input from the community.

"I just felt that we needed to make a statement and say, 'Hey, if you come to Red Bank, we're going to protect out children and protect our citizens," she said after the meeting.

After the opponents of the ban spoke, Mr. Glasscock voiced his opinion that guns are unnecessary in public parks.

"It is obvious that I'm very much in the minority tonight," he said.

Mayor Glasscock said he was afraid of angry parents and players at ballfields in Red Bank, who he said could get carried away while arguing with umpires.

"It's a matter of time before somebody shoots someone, and I'm sorry, but I cannot support this," he said.

Two Red Bank residents spoke during the public comments session of the meeting, calling for the vice mayor's resignation.

"The people of Red Bank elected him to do a job, not to embarrass them," resident Royce Barrage said.