CITY COUNCIL: Ames Home Gun Sales Ordinance

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The Ames city council is considering prohibiting residents from selling guns out of their homes.

It’s an issue that drew a crowd to Tuesday night’s meeting.

The city council passed a second reading of the ordinance but some are worried the city is overstepping state law which prohibits cities from regulating firearms.

“More of the concerns in the minutes I noticed seemed to be more emotion-based arguments rather than having any substantiated fact,” said Jeff Burkett, President of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.

A spokesperson for the man whose business sparked the creation of the ordinance read a statement at the meeting, “Based on personal experience and observation it appears that the stated rationale behind this discriminatory ordinance has no basis in fact and is therefore without merit.”

The council chambers were packed with gun owners and concerned residents. More than 300 people signed a petition against the ordinance banning gun home sales.

Thirteen people in Ames operate home gun sales. They buy and sell firearms through the internet and don’t have much traffic to the house.

The issue revolves around whether the city is regulating firearms or if it’s a zoning issue. City legal staff says it’s a zoning issue.  

“Anytime we have a residential area and we try to recognize the rights of people to use their home as they would want to but that right only goes as far as it does not affect your neighbors,” says Peter Orazem of the city council.

The council passed the second reading of the ordinance unanimously.

The third reading is scheduled for October 23rd.