St. Louis Zoo no-gun policy remains in place while activist prepares case

Joel Currier for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

An Ohio man who believes everyone has a constitutional right to openly carry a gun into the St. Louis Zoo has been given a two-month extension to mount his legal argument in court.

Jeffry Smith, 56, a gun rights advocate who is challenging the zoo’s weapons ban, was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon to present his side after the St. Louis Zoo won a temporary restraining order against him June 12. Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty on Friday set a new hearing for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 24 after Smith asked for 60 days to find a lawyer.

The extension means Smith and anyone working “in concert” with Smith “or who has knowledge of this order” is barred from entering the zoo with a gun until after the hearing.

Smith believes Missouri’s gun laws and the state’s constitutional amendment passed by voters last year guarantee citizens the right to carry guns in publicly-funded institutions such as the zoo, which describes itself as a government entity. Smith says the zoo is justifying its weapons bans with exemptions in state law that don’t apply to it, such as the provision for amusement parks.

Read the full story at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.