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Will Wildwood Pack Open Pistols in Future?

WATCH VIDEO ABOUT SENATE BILL 680: An overwhelming 93 percent of Patch poll respondents were in favor of open carry gun options in Wildwood. Will city representatives lift the ban in the future?

Missouri statutes allow for open carry firearms in designated places, however, some municipalities have local ordinances that prevent it. Part of the national and state gun debate recently was brought close to home.

After two residents asked Wildwood city council members to lift the ban on open carry guns at the latest council meeting, Eureka-Wildwood Patch on Tuesday published the article about the development, along with a poll asking readers if they support open carry.

See related article: 

At the time of publishing this article, 266 respondents voted—yielding 93 percent (248 voters) said yes; 6 percent (16 voters) indicating no; and 1 percent (two voters) being undecided.

"Open carry guns are legal in 95 percent of Missouri," said Wildwood resident Marc Perez. "It's strange that open carry is not allowed in Wildwood, and probably unconstitutional."

Perez said he believes the local, anti-open carry ban infringes upon people's rights, particularly Second Amendment guarantees. He said he has spoken to police chiefs in other municipalities who say they would rather know who is carrying a gun. Some police officers believe the sight of firearms may make felons go elsewhere, he said.

"And at least when people are openingly carrying guns, you know they have been through a record check, fingerprints and documentation," he said.

Perez said citizens with registered guns have prevented crimes, such as in a Florissant example. "In St. Charles, people with open carry guns have been thanked for helping to keep the peace."

The open carry issue prompts some elements similar to two other recent legislations about non-smoking laws and local restrictions on certain types of prescribed medications. One vital part of these type of debates always is whether major actions, such as these, should be handled on a local, piece-by-piece manner, or done as a unit across the entire St. Louis County.

In the case of firearms, nearby Clarkson Valley does not ban open carry guns, but the immediately neighboring municipalities of and Ellisville do. 

Wildwood City Administrator Dan Dubruiel said, in general, open carry guns have not been much of a local discussion recently. "The city's open carry gun ordinance was amended several times over the last eight years."

Any potential changes in the future would first start with discussions among members of Wildwood's Board of Public Safety.

Another Wildwood resident, Scott Eguires, told council members at the Feb. 27 meeting he believes open carry is a protected right, the same as freedom of speech. "Regardless if you like it (open carry firearms) or not, it's your job to protect those rights, as city council. I hope you will reconsider the ban on open carry."

Editor's Note:  Some states have varying parameters about open carry gun legislation, such as in California where it is allowed if the guns are unloaded. Some other St. Louis cities, such as Olivette, have considered a ban. Take a look at the accompanying video from Missouri Sen. Brian Nieves (R-Washington) about one current piece of proposed Missouri legislation. This new law would make it illegal for "political subdivisions" to be able to regulate the carrying of firearms. Nieves covers District 26 for west St. Louis County, Franklin County and Warren County. To review SB 680, click here.

M Sabados March 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM
266 people out of 30,000??? REALLY?? You report this as "overwhelming" support? You didn't ask the right people.
Dennis Broadbooks March 08, 2012 at 02:44 PM
@M Sabados: I don't believe it's the editor's position that this poll represents all individuals in the City of Wildwood. Her lead sentence simply states "An overwhelming 93 percent of Patch poll respondents". It doesn't say this is representative of the general population...it's just the results of this unscientific poll. It IS "overwhelming" support among those who took the time to respond.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
@Dennis Broadbooks, you are 'spot on' with that assessment, and the wording of the article was carefully chosen and exactly what it meant. This poll was available to all Patch readers, and still is, if more residents would like to weigh in. Some folks would consider it surprising to see such a majority of respondents result in one way or the other, thus why the follow-up article reports what it does. I would be happy to report another update, if survey results change significantly AMONG RESPONDENTS.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 02:54 PM
@M Sabados: Everyone was and is welcome to vote in this poll. I encourage you personally to use the "recommend" function of the Patch site, which is located just underneath the byline of the article, and the system will directly post the article on your personal Facebook page for sharing with family and friends. Many readers say they love that feature. Or one can forward the story's specific URL via emails. Either way, I would greatly appreciate your help to get more communication out about the survey so more residents can be reflected. That would be awesome. Thank you.
Julie Brown Patton (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
UPDATE to @M Sabados' point: Just since publishing the article this morning, now a total of 272 people have voted. Please come back periodically to see if and when survey results change. Thank you.
Dave Downes March 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Really?? M Sabados' --The only "right people" would be ones that believe your way. I live in Wildwood so I guess i'm not right enough for you
Pam Lieber March 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM
It's plain common sense to me that if some idiot/criminal who wants to randomly shoot people walks into a local restaurant or any other place and they see a gun on someone's hip they will probably think twice about shooting up the place!! I used to live in Texas and you see many more people there openly carrying guns, to be honest it made me feel safer! We live in a crazy world, sad but true! Also, some of the anti-gun crowd would probably feel different if they were ever in one of these public venues where someone shoots people at random.......they might might change their mind if the shooter gets taken down and it saves them or their family!
Marc Perez March 09, 2012 at 01:18 AM
There are many documented cases of an OC person preventing a crime before it even happened. Teh sight of an armed citizen makes the bad guy look for a soft target. Local government dictatng which constitutional can be "restricted" makes no sense what so ever. There is a Bill of Rights (2nd amendment) and and a Missouri Constitution (art.1 sec. 23). They are easy to read and understand. What is not easy to understand is al lthe legal garbage that takes basic "rights" away from the people!
Devon L Johnson March 09, 2012 at 02:20 AM
As a police officer I support citizen carry. Do you wanna bet your life on an overworked frustrated 911 dispatcher and police response time? I would prefer to take a living victim's statement as opposed to a Coroner's report anyday.
Marc Perez March 09, 2012 at 02:24 AM
If ther eis ever a public hearing on this in Wildwood, Davon I hope you will come out and speak please.
David Coulter April 06, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Below is an excerpt from a U.S. Supreme Court justice: At the time of the founding, as now, to "bear" meant to "carry." See Johnson 161; Webster; T. Sheridan, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language (1796); 2 Oxford English Dictionary 20 (2d ed. 1989) (hereinafter Oxford). When used with "arms," however, the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose--confrontation. In Muscarello v. United States, 524 U. S. 125 (1998), in the course of analyzing the meaning of "carries a firearm" in a federal criminal statute, Justice Ginsburg wrote that "[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution's Second Amendment ... indicate[s]: 'wear, bear, or carry ... upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose ... of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.' " Id., at 143. Individuals do have the right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Marc Perez April 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
There was "public safety" committee meeting April 5th, I will go on to present a change in the Wildwood laws regarding firearms. This will no doubt take a while. We the people have the right to "bear arms". This is a right which "shall not be infringed" according to the constitution, we just have to convince the City Council to read and understand the Constitution!

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