A Green Bay Council member believes it’s time to take a hard look the issue of guns in city buildings. Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports while concealed carry and open carry are legal,  she believes those guns are keeping people out of the political process

Green Bay Alderwoman Barb Dorff is longtime gun owner.

“Guns certainly don’t frighten me,” said Dorff.

But after a heated  Council meeting earlier this year regarding the Colburn Park pool,  Dorff learned through phone calls and Facebook that the presence of this man, legally carrying a sidearm at that meeting, did scare a number of people in attendance.

“There was some fear about attending Council meetings – that if there were going to be controversial topics and people were there with guns, they thought perhaps they wouldn’t go,” Dorff said. “They wouldn’t go and give their opinions as citizens because they felt it might be dangerous.”

Because of that Dorff proposed a study, which is now underway, examining the policies and ordinances in the state’s 10 largest cities as it pertains to concealed and open carry in municipal buildings.

“They do under law have the right to do that –  unless an ordinance is enacted,” said Dorff.

“She’s trying to fix a vehicle that has yet to break down,” said gun rights advocate Bronson Smith.

Smith says since the state passed concealed carry in 2011 and a ruling from the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office in 2009 which made open carry legal – there is little evidence of gun violence at municipal buildings in Wisconsin.

“The city of Green Bay does not need to go along with irrational, anti-gun, liberal policies of any other city in the state,” Smith said.

“This issue is about prohibiting people from being part of the political process who are afraid of coming to a Council meeting,” Dorff said. “My judgment right now is we need a study, we need to look at this and decide what’s best.”

That study should be complete in about a month.  The results to be discussed at the city’s Protection and Welfare Committee.