Although he is a strong believer in the lawful rights of gun owners, an incident at the DeKalb County Fair last week convinced Alexandria Police Chief Mark Collins that handguns should be banned during the fair.
During Tuesday night's city council meeting, Chief Collins asked that the Alexandria aldermen adopt an ordinance making possession of handguns illegal at the DeKalb County Fair. Although the fairgrounds are leased and operated by the DeKalb County Fair Association, the property belongs to the City of Alexandria.
The cause for concern arose last Monday night when a patron at the fair reported losing his handgun from the holster he was wearing while on one of the carnival rides. Chief Collins said some of the rides were shut down for a short period of time as members of the Alexandria Police Department, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, carnival workers, and fair association volunteers searched for the weapon.
Chief Collins said he was fearful that the gun might have been picked up by a teenager or a small child.
It turns out that the man had not even brought the gun to the fair in the first place. During the search at the fairgrounds, Chief Collins asked the man to return home just to make sure he had not left the gun there. While conducting a search at home, the man found his gun.
The aldermen plan to honor Chief Collins' request but have deferred action until the next meeting in August when an ordinance can be prepared and presented by City Attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. The ordinance may also ban handguns at other events on city properties.