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St. Louis Zoo Verified Petition .pdf



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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS
STATE OF MISSOURI
ZOOLOGICAL PARK SUBDISTRICT
OF THE METROPOLITAN
PARK MUSEUM DISTRICT,
Plaintiff,
vs.
JEFFRY K. SMITH,
Defendant.

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Cause No.
Division No.

THE ZOOLOGICAL PARK SUBDISTRICT OF THE METROPOLITAN
ZOOLOGICAL PARK MUSEUM DISTRICT’S VERIFIED PETITION FOR
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION
The Zoological Park Subdistrict of the Metropolitan Zoological Park Museum District
(“Saint Louis Zoo”), by and through undersigned counsel and for its Verified Petition for
Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and Permanent Injunction, hereby allege
and state as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1.

Saint Louis Zoo seeks a temporary restraining order (“TRO”), preliminary

injunction and permanent injunction against a gun rights activist from the State of Ohio known
as Jeffry K. Smith (“Smith”) (and anyone acting in association or concert with him). Smith has
scheduled a protest to be held at Saint Louis Zoo and is threatening to carry firearms into the zoo
in violation of Saint Louis Zoo’s policy prohibiting weapons on its premises. Saint Louis Zoo’s
policy is consistent with Missouri law, including recently enacted Section 571.107 of the
Revised Statutes of Missouri (“Carry Statute”), which prohibits the concealed or open carry of
firearms in amusement parks, educational facilities and child care facilities. Furthermore, the

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public to prohibit visitors from carrying firearms on their premises as long as they post signs
alerting visitors to the policy. Immediate and irreparable injury, damage or loss will result to
Saint Louis Zoo in the absence of injunctive relief as the safety, patronage and image of Saint
Louis Zoo will be compromised if visitors are permitted to carry firearms or other weapons on
Saint Louis Zoo property.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
2.

Saint Louis Zoo is a political subdistrict of the State of Missouri.

3.

The mission of Saint Louis Zoo is “[t]o conserve animals and their habitats

through animal management, research, recreation, and educational programs that encourage the
support and enrich the experience of the public.”
4.

In support of its mission regarding education, Saint Louis Zoo operates a licensed

pre-school which utilizes the entire 90-acre campus of Saint Louis Zoo as its classroom; Saint
Louis Zoo also holds camps for adults and children from pre-school to grade 12 --- these camps
utilize the entire campus of Saint Louis Zoo; and school field trips and Scout and Youth Group
outings at Saint Louis Zoo account for many thousands of children visiting all portions of Saint
Louis Zoo on a daily basis throughout the year for educational purposes. As many as seventy
(70) buses per day bring children to Saint Louis Zoo.
5.

Moreover, for more than 20 years, Saint Louis Zoo has partnered with The

Special School District (“SSD”) of Saint Louis County to provide training, growth and
preparation for the world of work to students who receive services from SSD – a local public
school district that supports the educational needs of children with disabilities. As part of this
program, Saint Louis Zoo provides as many as 15 special needs students at a time with real-

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Electronically Filed - City of St. Louis - June 12, 2015 - 08:37 AM

Carry Statute allows both private and public businesses who open their respective facilities to the

the program work and learn on all parts of Saint Louis Zoo’s campus.
6.

In support of the recreational component of its mission, Saint Louis Zoo provides

its visitors with walking/hiking trails and dozens of animal exhibits for free. In addition, Saint
Louis Zoo offers the following amusement rides / attractions for a fee: (a) a sea lion show; (b)
the Conservation Carousel (mechanical merry-go-round); (c) the Zooline Railroad (1.5 mile
narrated train rides through Saint Louis Zoo); (d) the “Dino Safari” 4-D Motion Simulator Ride;
(e) movies; (f) Safari Walking Tours; (g) Stingrays at Caribbean Cove (involving the feeding and
touching of stingrays); (h) Green Screen photo opportunities; and (i) music concerts (Friday
night concert series called “Jungle Boogie”; and Summer concert series called “Jammin’ at the
Zoo”). Saint Louis Zoo also has concessions serving food and drinks.
7.

In 2009, Saint Louis Zoo received a prestigious award from the International

Association of Amusements Parks and Attractions.
8.

Saint Louis Zoo has a policy which prohibits visitors to Saint Louis Zoo from

carrying weapons onto Saint Louis Zoo’s property. This policy is consistent with the laws of the
State of Missouri, Saint Louis Zoo’s mission and the family-friendly environment it seeks to
promote.
9.

To inform the visitors of Saint Louis Zoo of the policy, Saint Louis Zoo has

posted signs at the entrances to its premises which state as follows: “No Firearms Or Weapons
Allowed On This Property.” A photograph of one of the signs is incorporated herein and
attached hereto as Exhibit 1.

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world work experience and education. The SSD program operates year-round and students of

Smith is a gun rights activist residing in the State of Ohio. Smith regularly

organizes and attends gun rights rallies. According to media reports, in October 2013, Smith
attended a rally in Ohio and spoke to the media in support of the “stand your ground” gun bill.
At the rally, Smith stood with holstered guns on both hips. Then, in the Fall of 2014, Smith
organized a gun rights rally ending on the St. Louis Arch grounds where he and numerous other
participants openly carried assault rifles and other firearms. A photograph of Smith (in the
cowboy hat) at the St. Louis event is incorporated herein and attached hereto as Exhibit 2.
Smith also organized an “Open Carry/Firearm Education Walk” at the University of Cincinnati
in April 2015.
11.

On or about May 31, 2015 and thereafter, Smith contacted Saint Louis Zoo to

question its policy on prohibiting weapons from being carried on its premises.
12.

As part of his communications with Saint Louis Zoo, Smith demanded that Saint

Louis Zoo remove the “no weapons” signs from its entrances and change its policy to allow
visitors of Saint Louis Zoo to carry firearms on Saint Louis Zoo’s property.
13.

In response, Saint Louis Zoo informed Smith that it would not change its policy

or remove its “no weapons” signs.
14.

On June 5, 2015, Smith informed Saint Louis Zoo that it was his intention to carry

a firearm, openly or concealed, onto Saint Louis Zoo’s premises sometime between June 13 and
June 20, 2015.
15.

Smith has since created a Facebook event page announcing a “Saint Louis Zoo –

Firearm Rights Challenge” which he has scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2015, at 1:30 p.m., at
the Saint Louis Zoo (the “protest”). A copy of the Facebook Event page is incorporated herein
and attached hereto as Exhibit 3. On the day of the protest, Smith is threatening to lead persons

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10.

order to challenge the “no weapons” policy.
COUNT I: INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
16.

Saint Louis Zoo incorporates by reference each of the allegations set forth in

Paragraphs 1 through 15 hereof as though fully set forth herein.
17.

Smith’s threat to bring firearms on Saint Louis Zoo property, and his encouraging

of others to join him in this activity, is a real threat. It has been announced on Facebook and,
based on Smith’s past activism, should be taken seriously.
18.

The threat is immediate in that the protest is planned to take place at Saint Louis

Zoo in less than 36 hours from the filing of this Petition.
19.

If Smith (or any other persons) carry out Smith’s plan of bringing weapons on

Saint Louis Zoo property, Smith (and any similar actors) would be knowingly violating Saint
Louis Zoo policy and the Carry Statute which prohibits the concealed or open carry of firearms
in, inter alia, amusement parks, educational facilities and child care facilities (collectively, “No
Gun Zones”).
20.

Subsection (10) of the Carry Statute denies persons with or without concealed

carry permits from carrying weapons (openly or concealed) into “[a]ny higher education
institution or elementary or secondary school facility . . . .”
21.

Subsection (11) of the Carry Statute denies persons with or without concealed

carry permits from carrying weapons (openly or concealed) into “[a]ny portion of a building used
as a child care facility . . . .”

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of similar ideology to himself on a walk through Saint Louis Zoo’s grounds armed with guns in

Subsection (13) of the Carry Statute denies persons with or without concealed

carry permits from carrying weapons (openly or concealed) into “[a]ny gated area of an
amusement park.”
23.

Subsection (15) of the Carry Statute provides that “[t]he owner, business or

commercial lessee, manager of a private business enterprise, or any other organization, entity,
or person may prohibit persons holding a concealed carry permit or endorsement from carrying
concealed firearms on the premises . . . . If the building or the premises are open to the public,
the employer of the business enterprise shall post signs on or about the premises if carrying a
concealed firearm is prohibited.”
24.

Based on the overall mission of Saint Louis Zoo, its educational activities, its

child care facility and the amusement attractions it offers its visitors, Saint Louis Zoo fits within
at least four of the categories of “No Gun Zones” described in the Firearm Statute.
25.

Saint Louis Zoo has no adequate remedy at law in the event Smith or others enter

upon Saint Louis Zoo Property in possession of prohibited firearms.
26.

Immediate and irreparable injury, damage or loss will result to Saint Louis Zoo in

the absence of injunctive relief as the safety, patronage and image of Saint Louis Zoo will be
compromised by permitting visitors to carry firearms and other weapons on Saint Louis Zoo
property. In fact, Saint Louis Zoo’s Education Department has received numerous telephone
calls from concerned parents who are understandably considering removing their children from
Saint Louis Zoo’s educational programs if firearms are allowed on campus.
WHEREFORE, in light of the real and imminent threat that Smith (and other persons
acting in concert with him) will cause irreparable harm to Saint Louis Zoo by violating the “no
weapons” policy and the laws of the State of Missouri, Saint Louis Zoo prays that the Court

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22.

Smith (and anyone acting in concert with him or who has notice of such order) from entering
upon Saint Louis Zoo property in possession of a firearm or any other weapon capable of lethal
use (whether the weapon is possessed openly or concealed); and for such other and further relief
as the Court deems proper.

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grant a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction enjoining

COMES NOW Dustin P. Deschamp, and states that I am the Director of Human
Resources for Saint Louis Zoo, that I have read the foregoing Petition for Temporary Restraining
Order, Preliminary Injunction and Permanent Injunction, and that the factual allegations
contained therein are true and correct to the best of my information, knowledge and belief.

STATE OF MISSOURI
CITY OF SAINT LOUIS

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On this 11th day of June, 2015, before me appeared Dustin P. Deschamp, to me known to
be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and [ acknowledge that
slhe executed the same as his/her free act and deed.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal in
the County and State aforesaid, the day and year above written.

My Commission Expires:

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J.- 4 -I'?

TIMOTHY J. RAKERS
Notary P~ie • Notary Seal
State ol Missouri, Saint Louis City
Commission #14398589
My CommiSSIOn Expires Feb 4, 2018

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VERIFICATION

THE LOWENBAUM PARTNERSHIP, LLC

/s/ Adam D. Hirtz
Adam D. Hirtz, Mo. Bar #48448
Matthew J. Aplington, Mo. Bar #58565
222 South Central Avenue, Suite 901
Clayton, Missouri 63105
Telephone: (314) 863-0092
Facsimile: (314) 746-4848
Attorneys for Saint Louis Zoo

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Electronically Filed - City of St. Louis - June 12, 2015 - 08:37 AM

Respectfully submitted,


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