Lubbock City Council Discusses CHL and Open Carry Laws
At the last Lubbock City Council Meeting of 2015, council members and citizens came together to discuss a city policy and proposed city policies concerning concealed handgun licenses.
Employees with CHLs
At the heart of the matter is a policy enacted by City Manager James Loomis several weeks ago that bans CHL employees from carrying their weapon while on duty without prior written consent from Loomis. Mayor Glenn Robertson has filed multiple resolutions trying to overturn the policy, which were postponed until the December 18 meeting.
The resolution failed 5-2 with Mayor Robertson and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Gerlt dissenting. Councilman Victor Hernandez said the issue was more about the ability of council to override decisions within the power of the city manager to make than armed employees. He said if Robertson wanted to change the policy, the mayor should change Lubbock’s charter from a strong city manager government to a strong mayoral government.
Most of the council members echoed each other by saying they did not support the policy, but recognized it was up to the digression of Loomis, whom they trust.
Robertson continues to challenge the decision. The morning following the meeting Robertson submitted an open letter to Loomis directing him to reverse his policy or Robertson will direct the city attorney to request the Texas Attorney General’s office for an official opinion on the legality of the policy.
Open and Concealed Carry in Council Chambers
Much of the meeting was dominated by discussion on two resolutions proposed by Council Woman Latrelle Joy that would bar concealed and open carry guns from council chambers.
Nine citizens spoke against the resolutions, all CHL holders. The general consensus of their arguments cited statistics saying CHL holders are convicted of crimes at a much lower rate than the general population and having meetings stocked with CHL holders would promote stability in meetings.
However, the lone proponent of the resolution, Charlie Dunn, was heckled, cajoled and hollered at to step down during his allotted time to speak to the council.
In nearly two years of covering almost every single open session of city council meetings, I have never seen this happen even once. Not from a single person, and certainly not from a crowd professing to create stability.
Mayor Robertson complimented the citizens of Lubbock for having a history of being able to meet and discuss heated issues calmly and rationally before the discussion began.
Both resolutions failed with Council members Floyd Price and Latrelle Joy dissenting.