MODESTO, Calif. — Modesto is considering banning firearms, glass bottles, baseball bats and other items that can be used as weapons at rallies and protests.
Less than two weeks before a proposed "Straight Pride" event, which organizers say will happen no matter what, the city of Modesto is urgently trying to regulate what can be brought in to demonstrations of any kind.
"The ordinance is allowing for more control by our law enforcement personnel to ensure the safety of those who are participating in a demonstration, or for the residents around it, and the safety of the police officers who may be responding to a demonstration," Thomas Reeves, a spokesman for the City of Modesto said.
The city says it's meant to regulate things that could be used as a weapon.
"We're talking about things very specifically that people intend to cause harm with when they come to a demonstration and so we list a series of things, glass, signposts, even masks to hide your face," Reeves said.
It was first posted on the city website last week, including a ban on firearms.
"We are against this ordinance that it takes the right of law-abiding citizens away for self-protection," said Doug Welborn, president of the Madison Society Foundation.
Welborn, President of the Madison Society Foundation, a non-profit which is set up to protect the Second Amendment, says this is taking things too far.
"I think that they're a little bit scared and they're gone a little bit too far. Like I mentioned before, the law-abiding will be law-abiding and the criminals will be criminals," he said.
ABC10 checked with the city and they say the wording was originally included based on how other cities across the country have passed similar ordinances for demonstrations, but that wording has since been taken out.
"This has nothing to do with CCW permits. This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. This is very specific to demonstrations and what could be brought to those demonstrations that could be used as a weapon," Reeves said.
In addition to the urgency ordinance which the city is hoping to propose and adopt all in one night, they are also planning to pass a symbolic resolution denouncing hate and embracing diversity.
"We have a rich culture here in Modesto of embracing diversity and we want to celebrate that with this very simple and straightforward resolution that the council is considering. And even though it's simple and straightforward, it does speak volumes in terms of what we're proud of here in the city," Reeves said.
Organizers had until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to turn in a new application with proof of a new insurance provider to the city to hold their event at the alternate location of the Modesto Centre Plaza after being denied their original permit to hold their event at Graceada Park.
According to the city, their paperwork was not turned in on time to legally hold their event on August 24.
City officials say the proposed ordinance does not apply to entertainment and social events, including park concerts and parades.