Bayonne is considering a ban on carrying firearms in public buildings, and potentially city parks and areas that are the city’s responsibility.
The City Council will introduce an ordinance at its August 17 meeting. At the caucus meeting on August 10, the council discussed the proposed ordinance.
After questions from the council, Law Director Jay Coffey read the ordinance aloud. He said the under the ordinance, “No person shall be permitted to carry any firearm, concealed or otherwise, in any public building at any time.”
This is “including all public spaces owned, controlled or otherwise under the jurisdiction of the City of Bayonne, and in any school building or spaces owned, controlled, or otherwise under the jurisdiction of the Bayonne Board of Education.”
According to Coffey, this specifically includes schools and municipal buildings. This can also include parks or any places under the jurisdiction of the city or board, he added.
The rule applies to everyone “except for any duly appointed law enforcement officer in the course of his or her official duties.” Coffey confirmed to the press pool after the meeting that people with a legal permit to carry a firearm are not permitted to do so in the sensitive areas.
The move follows a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. The court ruled that a New York law banning the open carrying of firearms was unconstitutional.
However, the opinion indicated that the carrying of firearms can be banned in “sensitive” areas such as government buildings. According to the ordinance, the city wishes to address this issue by banning the carrying of firearms within any public building owned by the City of Bayonne or the Board of Education, unless the person carrying the firearm is a law enforcement officer.
The proposed ordinance also follows a recent string of gun violence in the city. Officials are looking to address rising crime, and this may be one way.
The City Council will meet next on August 17 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall at 630 Avenue C. For more information, go to bayonnenj.org.
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