UPDATE: Judge rules against Norman Music Festival’s ‘no gun’ policy
UPDATE: One week from the start of a popular festival, it seems the rules are changing again.
Earlier this month, the Norman Music Alliance and City of Norman said weapons would not be allowed at the Norman Music Festival.
However, not everyone was on board with the decision.
The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association said its members would be carrying weapons at the festival, despite the rules.
On Friday, a judge granted the association’s request for a restraining order against the ‘no gun’ policy during the festival.
NORMAN, Okla. - The Norman Music Festival is a 3 day independent music festival set to take place April 23-25.
Dozens of bands take over Main Street downtown playing both indoors and out.
It’s a free event for the public.
But the non-profit that runs the festival, the Norman Music Alliance, and the City of Norman are now facing a lawsuit.
Some are saying they’re trampling the public’s Second Amendment rights.
“The city basically bullying to the point that a peaceful person would be harassed for exercising a constitutional right,” said Don Spencer, vice president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.
He takes issue with the list of items posted on the festival’s website.
It’s titled “what not to bring” to the festival and included in that list is weapons.
“It’s a public event with public dollars in a public place and we’ve already seen this before and it’s too bad the city doesn’t recognize that it’s breaking the law,” said Spencer.
Spencer says the same issue came up at the Mumford and Sons concert in Guthrie last summer.
He says concert organizers backed off the issue.
“The county sheriff said I will not enforce such a law because it’s unconstitutional and illegal,” said Spencer.
Spencer plans to file the lawsuit on Wednesday.
And regardless of the outcome, he and other members of his organization plan to attend the music festival with weapons in tow.
“Oklahoma Second Amendment Association members will be at the festival carrying concealed and openly. So whether this goes through or not, we will be there,” said Spencer.
The board of directors for the Norman Music Alliance sent us this statement in response to the story:
“The official policy of the Norman Music Alliance for the Norman Music Festival is to request customers not to carry guns on festival grounds. Norman Music Alliance is certainly a supporter of every amendment to the Constitution. In accordance with the agreement with the City of Norman, the Norman Music Alliance rents four city blocks in downtown Norman to hold the Norman Music Festival. Under that agreement, NMA qualifies under the business owner exemption law, Okla. Stat. tis. 21 sec 1290.22, that allows business owners to request customers not carry guns into their businesses.
Guns and alcohol do not mix well.
The Norman Music Alliance does not want to put conceal carry music fans in danger of a felony charges because they carried in a place where low point beer is served. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 sec. 1272.1.
The board of the Norman Music Alliance feels that most of the fans that attend the Norman Music Festival would appreciate and request a weapon free festival and therefore it is the policy of the Norman Music Festival to ask gun owners and everyone to leave weapons in their vehicles and not bring them onto festival grounds.”