Danville lifts prohibition on firearms in cemeteries

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Danville City Commission removed a prohibition on guns in cemeteries on Monday. Commissioners passed the second reading of an ordinance deleting the ban on firearms, which officials said they discovered was in conflict with state law preventing local governments from regulating firearms. The ordinance also revises language concerning the carrying of deadly weapons by citation officers.

The vote was unanimous by the city commission, but not everyone was happy with the outcome.

“I don’t like the fact that they are taking away our home rule away from us,” Commissioner Kevin Caudill said. “But I don’t know if we have a choice.”

During the first reading of the ordinance, City Attorney Stephen Dexter said the ordinance is a request from the Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition.

There is a state law that restricts cities from regulating the carrying of deadly weapons, he said.

According to Dexter, the revised ordinance complies with existing state law.  

“I was not aware that there was a general prohibition of guns in our cemeteries, which would be unlawful under the statutes, and since that was not enforced — that rule not posted or known, it was just brought to our attention,” Dexter previously said.  

In 1983, Danville City Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting guns from being carried inside cemeteries, according to city records.

In 2006, there was an ordinance passed by the city commission that restricted citation officers from carrying deadly weapons. In order for a citation officer to carry a deadly weapon, Dexter said they would have to attend a training to be able to carry deadly weapons or make arrests. Both of these ordinances violated Kentucky Revised Statute 65.870, the statute that bans local firearms controls.

The new ordinance also states citation officers do not have the power of peace officers to make arrests and can’t complete the training required of normal officers.

Danville Commission meeting canceled

Danville City Commission has canceled its regular meeting scheduled for Dec. 26. Bills will be approved by City Manager Ron Scott and then reviewed by commissioners in January. The next regular meeting will be Jan. 9.