Santa Clara City Council repeals ordinance outlawing guns in parks

Santa Clara City Hall building, Santa Clara Utah, April 23, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – Up until Wednesday night, it was illegal to possess a firearm or knife with a blade more than 3 inches long in a city-owned park in Santa Clara.

The Santa Clara City Council repealed an ordinance Wednesday that city officials weren’t aware was on the books until receiving a letter from the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights advocacy group.

The ordinance, part of an overall city code related to city parks, states:

While in a park, no person shall carry a knife upon their person having a blade of three inches (3″) or longer in length, or have possession of, or discharge a BB gun, air rifle, pistol, firearm, bow and arrow, or any other type of dangerous weapon. – Santa Clara City Ordinance 12.20.010J

“We’ve used a knife longer than 3 inches to cut cake” while having church parties in the park, Councilman David Whitehead said.

“We recommend you repeal it,” City Attorney Russell Gallian told the City Council. “We’re not allowed to regulate (firearm) possession.”

Aside from a potential constitutional issue, current Utah law doesn’t allow cities to restrict aspects of gun possession, the city attorney said.

While discussing repealing the ordinance, Gallian said city staff noticed that Santa Clara appears to lack an ordinance forbidding the discharge of a firearm within city limits. No public safety officials were in the council meeting to verify whether or not such an ordinance may already exist. If not, Gallian recommended the City Council create one.

“We can’t tell them they can’t possess (a firearm), but we can tell them they can’t shoot them” within city limits, Gallian said.

The City Council unanimously voted to repeal the gun/knife restriction ordinance and discuss the particulars of a firearm discharge ordinance in a work meeting on Oct. 14. Gallian said they would also likely clarify what constitutes a “firearm” in the city code. This would be done to help better distinguish between items like pistols and shotguns versus air rifles and B.B. guns, he said.

As to how such an ordinance made it into the city code, Gallian said he wasn’t sure.

“It slipped through the cracks,” he said.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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33 Comments

  • Bobber September 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    How come when I take my AK47 into the walmart people act all funny? I’ve even been asked to leave several times. Can you believe it?!

    • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

      I don’t get it either. You never know when someone may have to defend themselves of those shirtless young males that may be suspiciously following them.

    • Robb Willie September 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I doubt you could tell the difference between an AK-47 and a bottle of Heinz-57.

  • Reality September 25, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I think they use the gun for and excuse not to have YoU there. I would come up with an excuse to get YOU to leave. Besides look in the mirror I’m sure you do the same if YOU had to look at yourself walking into a store holding body parts with Koolaid. That’s why everyone on this site come up with an excuse not to discuss things with YOU. It makes us uncomfortable to think to YOU are bobbering on Koolaid while typing. Sick sick sick

  • Koolaid September 25, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I feel so much safer now in those Santa Clara parks. So does my dog.

  • Misty September 25, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Are you people crazy ? Why would you wants guns in a park where your Childern are plaing and we are having problems with bully’s and drugs in our parks! You people are not thinking of your Childern !!

    • Shawn September 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      You answer your own question right there Misty. Problems with Bully’s and Drugs. Now you can legally protect yourself. You don’t have to wait 20 min for a cop to show up and protect you if it is needed

    • Steve September 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Yeah Misty, we all know banning guns in movie theaters and elementry schools are going to keep us safe from nutjobs spraying the place with bullets. We are crazy. We need to ban guns from parks so our children will be safe from anyone doing something like that.

    • Coprqwn September 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      People who are up to no good won’t care if it’s illegal- never have. At least now, law biding people can carry legally, in case self defense is necessary.

  • Robb Willie September 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Good job Santa Clara. It’s stupid to have laws that are unnecessary and impossible to enforce.

  • Tracie September 25, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hooray! Now I can cut my cake with a gun freely when picnicking in a Santa Clara park!

    Freedom at last!

  • tight magic undies September 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Wooooo hoooooo!!!!!

  • Darth Dude September 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    The Second Amendment shall not be infringed…Period!

  • Question September 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    What will happen when somebody shoots a dog in the park because the owner didn’t bag up the poop?

    • Coprqwn September 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Why would they shoot the dog? It’s the owner that I’d shoot.

  • Betty September 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    @question They will be cited for shooting a gun in the park and for animal cruelty. Now, if they leave the baby in the car {to cook}, they will be given a fundraiser and heart-warming cards of condolence.

  • CriminalsUnion September 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Satan …, now we’ll no longer be safe to commit murder, rape, maimings, and lesser violent crimes against defenseless innocents with impunity in SCC parks.
    Ed. ellipsis.

  • Fred September 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    It really is unnerving to see how many ignorant comments about why you would need a gun at a park, etc. Criminals will attack at your most vulnerable times. They don’t care if it’s a church, hospital, park, wherever. Your protection, and that of your family, especially your children, is YOUR responsibility.

  • PaxMentis September 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Hard to believe this is a Utah publication from the comments. Seems most of the commenters would fit in better in Santa Clara CALIFORNIA with all the others who wet their pants at the very thought of a gun.

    • that guy September 25, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Did you forget that a lot of folks from California have moved here in the last few years? And soon they will be trying push their libatared views and ignorant opinions down our throats.

      • Ron September 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

        Childish name-calling (libatard?) always works when you have no solid ground to stand on and insufficient intelligence to see both sides of an argument. Keep it up; it’s good for a laugh.

      • SWEET ICE TEA September 26, 2014 at 1:13 pm

        They already are attempting that. Why do you think Dorothy Engelman is running for state office? She is the Dem who went after those high school kids who were raffling off a rifle as a fundraiser. She was able to put the kibosh on the raffle. Weather she is from Cali or not is not known…..but it wouldn’t surprise me if she was a Cali transplant.

      • Shock September 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        ya marryed to yur sistah or sleepin with ya momma?

      • Cali Girl September 27, 2014 at 8:27 am

        YOU SHOULD BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE 1-15 PIPELINE & WORKERS FROM ARIZONA OR LAS VEGAS THAT ARE CLOSER TO THE BORDER. DRUGS ARE THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE WANT GUNS…THE CARTELS. WHO PROVIDES THE DRUGS?
        IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A SMALL LITTLE CLOSE MINDED TOWN YOU SHOULD MOVE….STG HAS CHANGED & WITH THE GOOD COMES THE BAD. IF UR UNHAPPY MOVE.

      • Koolaid October 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        What are the dogs and horses forcing down your throat? That seems to be the latest trend with dixie guys.

  • Herd September 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Meanwhile in Utah, dresses are banned: http://news.msn.com/us/dress-code-enforcement-draws-parent-student-ire

  • tc rider September 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

    This all has something to do about the way people are raised or brought up, I call it fear based mentallity, I have never seen so many people in my life, as in the state of Utah telling me the government is evil, make sure you are prepared for doomsday, and you need to have 500lbs of ammo just in case those evil government people outlaw both guns and ammo.
    I think it would be a real good idea if people in utah would be required to spend two years in places like new york city, chicago, detroit, oakland, baltimore and so on.
    After being in these places people here would tuly understand why you really don’t need to carry firearms and how rediculous the idea really is.

    • Steve September 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      If those cities allowed concealed carry like Utah does, the crime rate would drop. Liberals just don’t get it. They actually think a no firearm sign is going to change a criminals mind and make the world a better place.

    • SWEET ICE TEA September 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      TC RIDER…. 500 lbs of ammo is NOT a very large amount. And I have lived in Orange County and LA, California for over 3/4s of my life. And believe me, that’s why I am very happy to own firearms and about a ton and 1/2 of ammo. I know what type of individuals there are in this crazy world and what they are capable of. I AM MY OWN 911. Police are only there after the fact to take reports of what occurred. Maybe you should move to one of those cities you mentioned if you feel so safe there. Southern Utah would NOT miss you.

  • Reality September 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I see that most u folks don’t watch the news. I sure you all believe in rehabilitation of repeat offenders. To quote T Nugent I believe in dead offenders. Explain to all the inter city people who die every year at the hands of offenders, most the cities have the strictest gun laws in the world. The laws are failures unless you believe that the people are failures(racist ) or the cops are failures( corrupt) or the government the failure(corrupt) T C Rideher I did, if you wan to trust the government that’s perfect so did our people in Benghazi. So did the Iraqis, the Native American Indian, as well as the rest of the oppressed. No one in utah is taught not to trust anyone else, we let them prove to us whether they are trust worthy than plan accordingly. For instance if I met you and you said they things you typed I would already know not to trust you by the way you say stupid things. I know we can’t blame you because according to your shrink your parents are stupid and are at fault. Gotch ya

    • tcrider September 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      like I wrote before, the last three msgs before this one, you are all fear based, I don’t know if you nuts listen to subliminal msgs when you sleep, but the world isn’t really that bad and dangerous, and believe it or not, the governments purpose isn’t to get you, ( but you guys should be on some watch list) you guys need some serious help.

  • EmmyP September 27, 2014 at 5:07 am

    It’s odd that some comments reflect concern that gun owners, if allowed to carry in the park, might break the law and shoot dogs, children, or other adults.

    The comments then propose that to fix this, the law should prohibit carrying guns in the park.

    Cute.

  • Cali Girl September 27, 2014 at 8:22 am

    PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE & ANIMALS…NOT GUNS. GUNS ARE JUST ONE OF MANY TOOLS USED TO HARM OT KILL OTHERS.
    It is a right as an American’s right to bear firearms. Those who have issues would just find another WAY TO CAUSE HARM TO OTHERS IF GUNS WEREN’T ALLOWED.
    THE UNDERLYING ISSUE IS MENTAL HEALTH IISUES. HOWEVER WHO WOULD BE SO STUPID TO HAVE GUNS IN PARKS AROUND KIDS UNLESS THEY ARE GANG BANGERS. LAST TIME I CHECKED WE DON’T LIVE IN OAKLAND OR BROOKLYN.

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