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Scott County Preemption Violations

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
621
Location
Central Ky.
Recently, a message was sent by our website, KC3.com. The message contained a picture of a sign on a county building in Scott County and asked about it. The sign warns everyone that "Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapons is Prohibited on All County Property". This is, of course, illegal. Local governments are limited to prohibiting concealed weapons in BUILDINGS. Here is a picture of the sign:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tz5ogr1igd4pobs/ScottCo.Sign.pdf?dl=0
We were unsure whether this was just the one sign or if this was typical of all signs in Scott Co. After some investigation and sending an Open Records Request to Scott Co. officials we found out that their ordinance from 1996 says exactly that. Here is their ordinance #96-11:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7xkmm8kr32ji4p2/ORD.pdf?dl=0

It has been my experience that if there is one gun violation, there will be more. Once they get started, they can't stop. So, we dug a little deeper and found this personnel policy:

Except as provided in KRS 527.020, an employee shall not be in possession of deadly weapons on county premises, including personal vehicles and county-owned
vehicles, unless he/she is required to carry a weapon as a job requirement.

Deadly weapon shall be defined as:
Any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged; and/or
Any knife, except an ordinary pocketknife or other knife routinely used in the performance of county duties.


This is the same wording we found at Lexington and Nicholasville and again, it is illegal.

This morning, I sent an email to the County Judge/Exec. of Scott County explaining all of this and registering KC3's complaint over these actions. Judge Covington called me this afternoon and acknowledged his receipt of that email and asked a few questions. He was very polite and pleasant. He said that he had asked the County Attorney to look it over and they would decide what to do, but certainly would obey the law, whatever it is. He promised to get back to me with a formal response soon.

This ordinance and the signs that go with it have been in existence for 23 years. I think the personnel policy has been around since the seventies. Nobody has noticed them or complained about them, until now. We'll see how this works out.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
8,240
Location
here nc
So gutshot, pray tell, in today’s electronic media storage or retrieval coupled with the internet, that nobody within the august KC3 organizational infrastructure has not preemptively reviewed [read searched] all the state’s county/community statute/ordinance/codes so the inequities in olde outdated KY judicial nuances could be mitigated in one swoop?

Further my limited exposure to judicial legalese is if county xyz passed a policy years ago neighbouring counties around xyz would also pass the same or similar especially since “great minds” mentality would prevail.

Just say, the economic return of preemptive activities would serve the citizens of KY instead of waiting to say, “oh lookie county abc has outdated code” we need to do sumthing...
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,903
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
So gutshot, pray tell, in today’s electronic media storage or retrieval coupled with the internet, that nobody within the august KC3 organizational infrastructure has not preemptively reviewed [read searched] all the state’s county/community statute/ordinance/codes so the inequities in olde outdated KY judicial nuances could be mitigated in one swoop?

Further my limited exposure to judicial legalese is if county xyz passed a policy years ago neighbouring counties around xyz would also pass the same or similar especially since “great minds” mentality would prevail.

Just say, the economic return of preemptive activities would serve the citizens of KY instead of waiting to say, “oh lookie county abc has outdated code” we need to do sumthing...
Unfortunately KY, OH and IN have many small counties with small populations, meaning no money to enter the 21 century. I have been in county courts that don't even know what a PDF is, no scanner, just a copy machine.
 

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
621
Location
Central Ky.
Good news!! Last night I got an email from Scott Co. Judge/Exec. Joe Covington asking me to call him today. I called early this morning and Judge Covington said that after reading the statutes that I had sent them, both he and the County Attorney had decided that I was right about their authority, or lack of it, to regulate guns. Tomorrow, Sept. 26 the Scott Co. Fiscal Court will be holding a regularly scheduled meeting and the Judge will be bringing this up to the whole Court. He intends to ask them to vote on removing all signs referring to firearms from co. buildings and repealing both the ordinance about carrying concealed weapons on county property and the ordinance that prohibited employees from possessing guns while on the job. The County Attorney will advise them all to vote "Yes". This is everything that I asked him to do when I first contacted him. When this process is completed, Scott Co. will have no gun regulations or signs anywhere, except where state statutes have ordered them, including schools, court facilities and Sheriff's office. The Scott County government will be completely out of the gun control business. He said that this decision was made with advice they had been given by KACO, the Ky. Association of Counties. All Scott County dept. heads and supervisors will be advised concerning their lack of authority to prevent county employees from possessing firearms while on the job. This process will take approximately 30 days because the will have to have a second reading of the ordinances to repeal the two existing ordinances. The final vote and approval will happen at their meeting in October. In the meantime, they will not attempt to enforce the existing ordinances and policies. Judge Covington sent me copies of the two new proposed ordinances to repeal what they have now. You can see both of them here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bi00bztgiuxhk8n/2019_09_24_13_53_59 (1).pdf?dl=0

I have just started working on a similar problem in Wayne County. I hope it can be resolved just as successfully and as easily as this one.
 

The Big Guy

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
1,966
Location
Waco, TX
Congratulations. As someone who also fought local ordinances in violation of state preemption, with great success, it is true that all it takes sometimes is one determined person to make the changes happen. Keep up the good work.
 
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