By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Mac council bans loaded open carry in public places

Cities can bar open carry of loaded guns, but cannot bar concealed carry of firearms, loaded or not, or open carry of unloaded firearms. So the council opted to limit its reach to what’s allowable.

During both its informal dinner meeting and formal business meeting following, councilors debated whether such a ban would serve to make parks safer. 

Councilor Kellie Menke said enacting such an ordinance might have just the opposite effect, serving to invite gun rights activists to show up in city parks openly carrying weapons. “It seems to me like we’re asking for trouble,” she said. 

Councilor Remy Drabkin wondered if it was worth spending money to update signs when people openly carrying in parks is such a rare occurrence.

But Parks and Recreation Director Jay Pearson urged the council to adopt the revision. He said it brought parks rules as close to what they were previously, when they banned guns outright. 

Police Chief Matt Scales supported the move. While people openly carrying in parks is rare, it’s the best option available under Oregon law, he said.

If police received a call reporting a person openly carrying a weapon, Scales said police would respond quickly. He said they would assess the situation to determine whether the person carrying the weapon appeared to pose a threat. 

Councilor Scott Hill supported the ban, saying the city needed to make its parks as safe as possible.

One member of the community spoke in opposition, local defense attorney Mark Lawrence. He said a ban would not serve to make city parks safes.

He said felons and the mentally ill were already banned from carrying weapons, so the ordinance would only ban carrying by otherwise law-abiding citizens. He said citizens should have the right to carry loaded weapons in order to defend themselves. 

“The reason the chief’s gun is loaded is because he knows an unloaded gun isn’t any use at all,” Lawrence said.

The council ultimately passed the ordinance on a unanimous vote. 

In other business, the council: 

n Approved paying Century West Engineering nearly $29,000 to create a Fly Friendly Program. Such programs, already in use elsewhere, are designed to achieve optimum balance between local aviation industry needs with citizen quality of life concerns, the main one being noise.

Drabkin questioned both the need and cost. “Spending almost $29,000 to appease people who purchased property near an aiport gives me pause,” she said. 

If it’s just a matter of changing flight paths to avoid residential areas, she said, why can’t the city staff manage that on its own.

Community Development Director Mike Bisset responded by saying the program would help address citizen concerns, something the city has been promising neighbors for years. 

However, Mayor Rick Olson suggested delaying implementation pending the awarding of a new fixed based operator contract. The council went on to approve the move, but asked the staff to postpone implementation until January 2016. 

n Approved a noise permit for the Portland Karting Association for races it plans to stage at Yamhill County Fairgrounds on Sept. 19. Mark Reece said the group would be reaching out to neighbors to let them know about the event beforehand. 




They've learned from their mistakes in Corvallis. Instead, slide it in under the radar, so OFF and other 2A advocates will miss it. Have a limited publishing of the council's agenda the Friday before, then have the city's newspaper of record print an article about it THE VERY DAY OF THE MEETING. Brilliant.

To those who are rejoicing today over your new illusion of safety, watch the city council closely going forward. At some point, they'll pass something that you don't like, in the same way.


Here come the demonstrations!
or as some will find out---unintended consequences.
Now police must spend time checking out law abiding citizens.


" Instead, slide it in under the radar, so OFF and other 2A advocates will miss it."

At least that saved us from having the same gaggle of out-of-own freedom fighters show up and waste everybody's time as at county commission meetings about similar topics. And the city actually elected adults. Now let's prepare for the massive demonstrations by probably about two bearded guys wearing 2nd-Amendment t-shirts and carrying AR-15's passing out leaflets somewhere around city park.


I don't think this ban is constitutional. It may make some people nervous, but our founding fathers gave them the right to do it.
Part of living in a pluralistic society is being able to be tolerant of and inclusive of ALL people, even those we disagree with. Diversity is a wonderful thing. Part of the rich diversity of our society includes people who want to carry a gun in public.


I still don't get it. Why does someone need/want to carry a weapon/gun with them in public?

I have been in more firefights than I can count. People, trained and untrained, doe stupid things when they are engaged in a firefight. Taking a gun safety class or filling out the application to carry in public does zero for the mental aptitude of engaging anyone in a fire fight.


Because they wish to be prepared to defend themselves should the need to do so ever arise.

As for you and your many firefights over in Vietnam, how many were instigated by folks looking to make you their victim vs you looking to make them yours, kona?

You're comparing apples to oranges when referring back to you past experiences as a soldier. No?


Good questions. We were the hunted more often than the hunters. We were at a strategic disadvantage much of the time.

Not "apples and oranges" at all. People do strange, irrational things when getting shot at. They often start firing indiscriminately without knowledge of the target. How would law enforcement know who was the "bad guy" when entering into a hot zone with "good guys" and "bad guys" firing at each other in a public location? How would one "good guy" know another "good guy" in a hot zone? These situations cannot be covered by filling out a permit to carry a weapon in public.

It wasn't much different in Vietnam when friendly fire was among the greatest of enemies. It is human nature to panic when fired upon. That doesn't change whether in a Safeway grocery store or the jungles of Vietnam.



Personally, my viewpoint of those that make the choice to 'publicly' open carry a firearm, have actually increased their own odds of becoming a target in an urban environment.

Concerning those issued a CCL, I am more concerned with the odds of my wife and I being maimed or killed by the reckless/irresponsible/ill-thought-out behavior's of licensed drivers, than the potential of us being maimed or killed in any 'shoot-out'.

But, then again, we don't live in an urban environment and we do conscientiously limit our exposure to it.

Thank you for your sober reply.


I read that since 2001 there have been 158,000 gun deaths in the United comparison 58,300 US solders were killed in Vietnam. Is the status quo working?



As to those 158,000 gun deaths from 2001 forward, how many of those were actually caused by people whom had acquired their weapons legally. Versus those whom had not, such as gangbanger's and other felonious folks?


And if I may query you further, tagup, out of those 158,000 gun deaths since 2001, how many were un-justifiable homicides committed in what had/have been declared 'gun free' zones created in the minds of liberal/progressives such as yourself?

It seems to me that cities such as New York, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles, which are all under the control of progressive/liberals such as yourself, apparently suffer more deaths by gunfire-per-capita, than in cities where folks are allowed to carry their 'legally obtained' firearms, be they openly or concealed. No?

Personally, I tend to avoid anywhere Liberal/progressives tend to congregate in large numbers.


As I have mentioned previously, the "cat is out of the bag" with so many of our problems in the U.S. Deaths due to alcoholic beverages far outweigh gun deaths, the Vietnam War other deadly situations. Our society just considers these deaths as collateral damage and the price we pay for this behavior. Not only that, our society glamorizes guns and alcohol.

Any of these discussions about gun controls are futile and 30 years too late. Military type weapons should have been banned decades ago. It is too late now.


Mike...splitting hairs about the demographics is avoiding my question. it's a simple question that requires a simple that number of fatalities acceptable?


Tagup, without splitting hairs over demographics, over 50 Million babies have been murdered here, in the United States of America since 1973. The number of unjustifiable deaths do to the use of firearm pales in comparison when compared to the much more voluminous numbers of 'justifiably' murdered, harmless babies with beating hearts while still in their mothers wombs.

Whilst You, tagup, would prefer to ignore the different demographical numbers that comprise the totality of homicides committed in our country, I do not choose to ignore the facts.

The facts being, there are justified shootings and there are un-justifiable shootings. On a personal note, I've shot two people, one down in California and the other here, in Oregon. Both were in self defense, and both deemed justifiable. Why? Because they were.


Mike- your story is compelling and I'm sorry you had to be put into a situation requiring deadly force. That said, it doesn't change the fact that there is a problem in this country that involves firearms. I don't have the solution, but I do know that by doing nothing, nothing will change. Background checks, firearms trainings ,maybe even a license and liability insurance requirement for gun owners doesn't seem like it should be a major obstacle for gun owners given the magnitude of the problem. I am a gun owner and I enjoy shooting sports, but I can see , and the statistics prove, that there is a problem.


For the sake of argument, let's pretend for a moment that I DON'T have a CHL for some reason...

Now that the city council has decreed that I have to carry an unloaded handgun IF I don't have a CHL, can I hold the city council responsible for myself and my family's safety if I am involved in a violent incident in a city park, ( like being attacked by a drug crazed/drunk/mentally unstable, person while walking through the park at night), and am unable to protect myself and my family?

Would I be able to find recompense in a court of law because their ordinance caused me or my family harm because I didn't have the means to protect us?

An unloaded gun isn't even as useful as a hammer would be.

There was shooting last night here in town at about 10:40, a few blocks from my house, I heard a POP....POP,POP,POP,POP. I knew for sure they were shots, being as I am somewhat experienced with the sounds of various types of gunshot reports. A couple of minutes later, I heard sirens...

Why should I be discriminated against because I perhaps choose not to have a CHL, but still want to have the means to protect my family and myself..

I should not be FORCED to get a CHL, in order to carry a loaded handgun used for protection.

Funny thing about the new ordnance, if I HAVE a CHL, I can carry concealed, loaded, AND I can carry openly, loaded or unloaded, because the ordnance states that it doesn't apply to holders of a CHL.

Another funny thing is that the police force cannot even ask you if your openly carried handgun is loaded or not, all they can do is ascertain whether or not you are a "threat."

Personally, I'm not a big fan of open carry, I think it doesn't do the firearm community much good in the area of making non-firearms folks feel comfortable, but if somebody else wants to open carry, I believe that they should be able to.

Just some thoughts that occurred to me after last nights shooting incident....


This is for the Author of this article;

Where in this passing does it exclusive limit the ban to just parks like your heading suggest?

An ordinance adopted under ORS 166.173 does not apply to a law
enforcement officer in the performance of official duty, a member of the military in the performance of official duty, a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun, a person authorized to possess a loaded firearm while in or on a public building or court facility, or an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture acting within the scope of employment who possesses a loaded firearm in the course of the lawful taking of wildlife.

A "public place" is defined in ORS 161.015(10) as a place to which the general public has access, including, but not limited to, hallways, lobbies, and other parts of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence, and highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds, and premises used in connection with public passenger transportation.


The McMinnville City Council adopts this Ordinance to amend the
McMinnville Municipal Code by adding new section 9.44.025, as

9.44.025. Carrying loaded weapons prohibited—Exceptions. The
possession of loaded firearms in public places, as defined in ORS
161.015(10), is prohibited. This ordinance does not apply to or affect a law enforcement officer in the performance of official duty, a member of the military in the performance of official duty, a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun, a person authorized to possess a loaded firearm while in or on a public building or court facility, or an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture acting within the scope of employment who possesses a loaded firearm in the course of the lawful taking of wildlife.


Good point, Scooter.

According to ORS 161.015(10) It looks like it is a city wide ban on open carry, not just in the parks.

Methinks the city might have overstepped itself on this...

Don Iler

I've edited the article to reflect the wording in the ordinance. There will be a clarification printed in the Aug. 7 print edition.


Thanks for clearing that up Don, especially the reprint. A good amount of people around town were fully under the impression that is was parks only. Appreciate your coverage of the council meetings.