Park City failed to follow through on gun talk after Orlando attack | ParkRecord.com

Park City failed to follow through on gun talk after Orlando attack

Leaders could have another chance in the days following Las Vegas

More than a year ago, as the U.S. was reeling from a gunman's deadly attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, leaders in Park City appeared poised to take some sort of action regarding gun laws.

Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council, meeting in June of 2016, shortly after the nightclub attack, held an unscheduled discussion about gun laws. It appeared at the time the elected officials might hold at least one additional talk and then, possibly, proceed with a more formal stance. It was unclear, though, what sort of steps Park City leaders could take since gun laws typically are enacted on the federal and state levels.

But in the 16 months since, and with the nation again in mourning after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Park City's elected leadership has yet to return to the discussion that started last year.

The mayor and City Council sometimes broach issues during a single meeting without further talks later. The discussion in the summer of 2016, though, appeared to have more importance than some other topics the elected officials addressed at about the same time.

During the discussion, some of the elected officials seemed to desire a detailed talk about gun laws shortly after that meeting. It was not clear at the time whether the leaders were interested in considering enacting stricter municipal gun laws, though. There was also not a detailed discussion about the prospects of City Hall encountering resistance to stricter gun laws, particularly in a state that has long been seen as a staunch supporter of the constitutional right to bear arms.

Becca Gerber, a City Councilor, said at the meeting she would "like to do something to encourage our state and federal government to look into stronger gun laws." Another member of the City Council, Andy Beerman, said at the meeting Park City could perhaps clarify gun definitions. He did not provide details. Beerman also said he does not like guns even though he understands the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Beerman said at the time he struggles with "situations like this where we're talking about weapons of war. We're not talking about people's personal guns."

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In a Monday prepared statement in response to an inquiry from The Park Record, Beerman called the Las Vegas mass shooting "another senseless tragedy."

"Congress and the White House continue to engage in demagoguery rather than craft sensible laws to address gun violence and gaps in mental health. How about we start with small steps like universal background checks, mandatory licensing and limits on ammo purchases? All lives matter, we can do better. Park City stands with Las Vegas today in mourning," Beerman said in the statement.

The City Council is scheduled to meet starting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Marsac Building. If the mayor or City Council address the Las Vegas attack or the wider issue of gun laws, it is likely they will do so at 4:30 p.m. Each of the elected officials at the beginning of a meeting are given the opportunity to mention items that are not scheduled to be discussed at the meeting. There would also be a chance at 6 p.m., when they can again talk about a broad range of issues that are not on the published agenda. The public just after 6 p.m. also has an opportunity to address issues that are not on the agenda.