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NEWS

DATE: May 27, 2005

RELEASE: Immediately

TEAR SHEET: Requested

CONTACT: David Nelson
Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah
David Nelson Communications
Post Office Box 521721
Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1721
(734)661-0667 Facsimile
[email protected]
http://www.StonewallShootingSportsUtah.org/

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^ BC-Gay Guns, 435 <

UTAH PRIDE DROPS BAN, WELCOMES GAYS WITH GUNS

SALT LAKE CITY -- A week after the leader of a gay firearms group challenged a controversial policy from organizers of the state's annual gay- and lesbian-pride events which would have banned legally concealed firearms from most of the events, GLBT Community Center of Utah Inc. Executive Director Valerie Larabee, who is also a lifelong shooter, said on May 27 that organizers will instead welcome people who choose to take their legal firearms and instead prohibit only those who violate laws.

Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah founder and owner David Nelson said that the change is an encouraging reiteration of the 2003 and 2004 pride-events rules when organizers agreed that people with legally concealed firearms could not be denied admission to the events. Nelson's challenge of the policy which led to the change won the attention of state and national news media including 365Gay.com, Alphecca.com, Connexion.org, DaveKopel.org, DeanEsmay.com, Feeds4All.com, FortPride.org, Free-Press-Release.com, Funender.com, GayGuideToronto.com, GayLinkContent.com, GayMonkey.com, GayWired.com, HellInAHandbasket.net, JohnRLott.com, KCPW Radio, LatinoGLO.com, LesbiaNation.com, LostTarget.com, PeskyApostrophe.com, RobThurman.com, UtahConcealedCarry.com, UtahIndependent.com, WisconsinGayNews.com and The Michelangelo Signorile Show on OutQ Sirius Satellite Radio among others.

"Despite an unnecessarily bad start to the upcoming events, the organizers understand now that people with Utah Concealed Firearm Permits aren't the disruptive or illegal parts of their events," Nelson said. "No one who has met every legal requirement including daily FBI criminal-history investigations should be arbitrarily denied the legal, responsible and safe exercise of our human right to defend ourselves if we choose and need to do so."

Seven of the eight announced pride events are planned for the Salt Lake City Public Library, Library and Washington squares, and the surrounding city streets and sidewalks -- all government properties. Because only one of the events is planned for church property, Nelson described most of the events as public accommodations on public properties where legally concealed firearms are permitted.

"State laws are very clear about who, what, when, where, why and how legally concealed firearms may be prohibited," Nelson said. "As we did in 2003 and 2004, our members will simply attend and enjoy one of the state's biggest outdoor events without complaint and without leaving one of our constitutional rights at the festival gates."

SSSU is a group of gender- and sexual-minority firearms advocates and owners in the state, and supporters of the Pink Pistols idea that was described nationally in 2000 by writer Jonathan Rauch for the legal, responsible and safe use of firearms for their self defense and shooting-sport competition and recreation, including those who are gay and lesbian, and that of their families and friends. With hundreds of members, they're also the largest such group worldwide.

ALSO: http://michaelaaron.com/sssu/viewtopic.php?p=491#491

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David Nelson said:
NEWS
...
Executive Director Valerie Larabee, who is also a lifelong shooter, said on May 27 that organizers will instead welcome people who choose to take their legal firearms and instead prohibit only those who violate laws.
...
Wow! Some common sense prevailed. Prohibit illegal behavior and don't worry about the legal carrying of firearms for self-defense. Doesn't get much simpler than that.
 
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