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Law banning weapons at all county buildings draws some fire


The Chautauqua County Legislature has passed a law to post signs on all county buildings banning anyone from bringing weapons into them.
The plan was praised by some and criticized by others. All the county's 40-plus buildings will post signs noting that weapons are not allowed.

Tina Hallquist of Jamestown said at the Legislature's meeting Wednesday that she has a permit to carry a pistol and believes her Second Amendment rights were being infringed upon.

"It's not right to take a select group of people, a small group of people, and allow them to take away other people's constitutional rights. Also, what your idea is of what you call a weapon differs from everybody else's."

Hallquist said if a criminal wanted to do damage to a county building, he or she wouldn't stop to read a sign banning weapons.

Rose Conti of Brocton spoke in favor of the ban, saying county buildings should be "safe havens."

"We know that no piece of paper or any law is going to stop this. This is a statement that says the people who work in these buildings and more importantly the people that we serve in these buildings have a right to have a (law) made by this body that nobody should bring weapons in here."

Conti told the Legislature that there has been at least one incident in the past year where someone came into a county building with a weapon.

Legislature Minority Leader James Caflisch, R-French Creek, who was against the law, said it would turn everyone into "a bunch of snitches."

"Let's all be accountable for our own safety. We can take measures to protect ourselves without having to go the extent that we're talking about here. This is going to do nothing to improve county employee safety that I can see," he said.

Legislator Steve Keefe, D-Fredonia, who supported the ban, said, "This is feel good legislation. It makes people feel good about going to work. When you go to work in an unsafe environment, you don't feel good. I guess I don't understand why someone has to carry a gun into our building. This isn't Dodge City."

In the end, the law passed 14-9, with two legislators absent.

*FW Note:

Once more government atempts to control those who choose not to obey the law by disarming those who do...

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