Oberlin Outcry: City Park Gun Debate

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OBERLIN, Ohio-- City leaders are trying to keep the peace in their quiet town, and for some residents that means keeping guns out of city parks.

However, it's not a simple issue. Currently the town's law is in violation with the state of Ohio.

That is why Oberlin City Council is considering a change to the current city law.

The wording now states that people cannot bring firearms or other weapons into parks.

But the city administrator told FOX 8, that is not what is being enforced. "We have not been enforcing our local ordinance, because it conflicts with Ohio Revised Code," said Eric Norenberg.

Until there is an official change to the law, many pro-gun advocates claim they will not be happy.

"I just think we should all carry guns and it's frustrating for me. They are taking more and more of our rights away, and it's not fair," said Patrick McLaughlin, who is pro-gun.

"I think a gun-toting community is a polite community, and everybody would
be more polite if everybody had a gun," he went on.

The outcry for change in Oberlin came in August, when a man noticed the city's law didn't match up with the state's.

But many people in Oberlin are upset about this gun debate.

"I respect them, but I disagree," said Bill Powell."In Oberlin we are very against violence," said Maya Moskowitz.

"I don't think you need to carry them in parks or downtown," said Anne Sprague.
Oberlin's city administrator tells FOX 8, no matter what, somebody is bound to be unhappy in this debate because this is such a sensitive issue.

"I think there is so much concern because if something could go wrong,
kids could get hurt," said Moskowitz.

Many believe parks are family gathering spots, not places for packing heat.

"There are too many guns around, too many guns in the wrong hands and I don't know the solution, but I'd be happy if there were fewer around," Sprague said.

On Saturday, many pro-gun advocates were out in Oberlin rallying for gun rights, and
they plan to be back on Sunday to do the same.

When it comes to city council, they plan to vote on the issue, September 16.