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      Will Hannibal city council issue a smoking ban waiver?

      Andy Shipley served in the Vietnam War and has been a member of the VFW Post 2446 in Hannibal since the early 1970's.

      He didn't support the ballot issue that posed question as to whether there should be a smoking ban enacted in America's hometown. And now he's planning to go before the Hannibal City Council to ask for a waiver to allow smoking inside the VFW post

      " We are a private club, private post, private organization. We're not open to the public," he said. "The only way the public could enter our premises is if a member invited them as a guest. That's it. They cannot enter our doors."

      Right now, the Hannibal City Council must draw up the specific ordinance that will outline what will be allowed and what won't be allowed in the city once the smoking ban is active.

      That's because the ballot issue in the March election only asked the general question if there should be a public smoking ban. Shipley has some strong feelings as to what he and his fellow members at the VFW fought for when they served overseas.

      " After all, we are the men and women that fought on foreign soil for the freedoms," he said. "The right of choice to every individual to make his own decision in life and we feel like this would strip us of some of the freedoms we fought for."

      For now, Shipley says they're going to continue with their normal status quo and hope they aren't forced to go outside to light up.

      The Hannibal City Council is scheduled to hear public comment tonight at its regularly scheduled meeting.