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Signs going back up at park to prohibit firing of weapons

New signs will be posted in Millennium Park warning that the use of a weapon inside the park is illegal, based on discussion by the Parks and Recreation Ad Hoc Committee on Monday. 

City Attorney Stephen Dexter said there is a city ordinance that “prohibits the discharge of guns in the city limits” and if signs are posted stating that firing a gun is prohibited in the park, the ordinance could be cited on the signs, he said.

Signs were previously put up stating that weapons could not be carried into the park, but those were taken down after officials decided they couldn’t prohibit the carrying of a firearm in a public park.

Dexter said when the new signs are made, they should say, “It is unlawful for any person to discharge any gun, sling or similar contrivance, air gun or firearm pursuant to City Ordinance Section 9-3.” 

“I think we just need to get some signs painted that says that on there,” Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said. 

While they weren’t listed specifically in the language, McKinney said he believes the signs would cover paintball guns. 

“That’s something of a recreation, and I don’t think we want paintball guns in our parks,” McKinney said. 

Dexter clarified that the ordinance states the “discharge of any gun.” 

“I would include a paintball gun in that,” he said. “I would count a BB gun, but probably not a water gun.” 

Dexter said said Danville Police Chief Tony Gray has said the signs would prohibit the use of bows and arrows within the park. 

In order to save money, since there are other signs already made, Parks and Rec Director John Drake said that if they just took “firearms” out of the old signs and said “discharge of weapons,” that it be $700 cheaper than making all-new signs.

Dexter said the language on the signs needs to clear and accurate so no one is confused by what is allowed or not allowed in the park. 

“I think this is important to spend a little money on,” McKinney said. “It won’t cost much.” 

Signs will continue to warn park-goers that drugs, alcohol and fireworks are prohibited. The new signs, once they are made, will be posted at the main entrance into the park, the dog park entrance and the walking entrance.