Lynchburg Councilman Opposes Gun-Free Meeting Venues

Lynchburg City Councilman Jeff Helgeson wants the city should to hold public meetings only in venues where guns are allowed, or to have security provided.

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Oct. 31, 2013

A Lynchburg city councilman says the city should hold public meetings only in venues where guns are allowed.

Councilman Jeff Helgeson told media outlets that holding meetings in gun-free zones deprives law-abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves by bearing arms.

He said that the city should either use only venues where guns are allowed, or provide security at meetings.

The City Council recently held a joint meeting with the school board at an elementary school. State law prohibits anyone except law enforcement officers from bringing a gun onto school property.

Helgeson said that he didn't attend the meeting because he was uncomfortable with the lack of security.

"All you've got to do is do a Google search and look at how many shootings happen in gun-free zones," he told the newspaper. ". Calling something gun-free is just advertising for bad people."

The other council members and the entire school board attended the meeting.

Councilman Turner Perrow said that he appreciated the need to be mindful of security and the desire of some citizens to carry guns for protection. But he said that he has never been concerned for his personal safety at a meeting.

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