Mayor Panucci and City Council members,
The Syracuse City (Utah) Newsletter was delivered to my residence today and I read about the city’s annual pumpkin walk with great interest.
As you know, the annual Pumpkin Walk is held annually at Centennial Park (behind City Hall). Centennial Park is a public park and the Pumpkin Walk is a city endorsed and tax-payer funded event.
Nestled within the announcement for this year’s Pumpkin Walk is the following line: “(No masks, guns, or pets)”.
Why is the city prohibiting the lawful carry of firearms during a public event on public property? Where does the city derive this authority?
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-500(2), adopted in 1999, “[u]nless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.” Section 63-98-102, adopted in 2004, elaborates upon this policy. It provides, in part:
(4) All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities.
(5) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.
Further, regarding persons who have a valid, Utah issued or recognized Concealed Firearm permit (http://bci.utah.gov/CFP/FIREARMS_LAWS_FOR_INSTRUCTORS.pdf), it is only unlawful for a person with a firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in the following locations:
- Any secure area (as defined by State and Federal Law) in which firearms are prohibited and notice of the prohibition is posted.
- Any secure area of an airport.
- Any courthouse, courtroom, mental health facility or correctional facility that may provide by rule that no firearm may be transported, sold, given, or possessed upon the facility. At least one notice shall be prominently displayed at each entrance to a secure area in which a dangerous weapon, firearm, or explosive is restricted.
- Any house of worship that has notified BCI and is posted on the BCI website.
Since none of the above applies to a City Park, it is unlawful for the Syracuse City to impose such a prohibition.
Additionally, it is entirely inappropriate and reckless for a city to publish to everyone (including criminals) where and when a large number of unarmed, defenseless citizens will be. This only serves to invite tragedy at the hands of a criminal (need I remind you all that Trolly Square (which is privately owned) prohibits firearms and effectively disarmed their patrons, giving a criminal a defenseless killing ground).
I feel that Syracuse City should immediately publish a retraction of the illegal prohibition and deliver said retraction to the same persons who receive the Newsletter in which the original prohibition was publically circulated.
I await your response.
– Joe Levi
Just an update, as of end-of-business on Monday, I have not gotten any reply from the Mayor, nor any of the City Council.
At the end of business on Tuesday, still no response from either the mayor nor the city council.
UPDATE: The Mayor called me last night at home and clarified the announcement — it was intended to apply to “toy guns.”
He further said that there will be a substantial police presence there, and it is held right behind the police station… he doesn’t feel that it’s the right place to have a firearm, but if you’re “one of the good guys” and “have a Concealed Firearm Permit and feel so inclined” to carry that you’re welcome to.
I asked him about those without a CFP who wish to open carry, which is allowed by Utah Law. This seemed to frustrate him a bit, but he agreed that this would also NOT be prohibited.
He went on to state that he is in the process of obtaining his Utah Concealed Firearm Permit and that he would advise the Arts Council regarding State Law.
He apologized for the confusion and voiced his appreciation for “keeping an eye out” for things like this.
very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
Care to elaborate exactly what it is you don’t agree with and why?
Thank you for “keeping an eye out” for ILLEGAL sign by the City. I am glad that the Mayor realized the LEGALITY of your claim(s).
Yes, the State Law support Loaded Open Carry as a CFP holder per Title 76-10-723.
Go and take a look at http://www.opencarry.org and you will read some interesting things.
Thank you for the Great Job Joe.
As for the Guy who doesn’t agreee with you…He doesn’t even know why he disagrees with you.
The sigh could be changed to “ILLEGAL WEAPONS” which would be within the Law and cover averything