City looks to make gun ownership mandatory
By John Bachman
Nelson, GA. Every homeowner in a local town could soon haveto own a gun or break the law. It's a controversial new plan for the city ofNelson.
Leaders told Channel 2's John Bachman the reason they needthe law is because the city straddles Cherokee county to the south and PickensCounty to the north.
That, they said, can lead to slower response times.
One police officer patrols Nelson, Georgia for eight hoursduring the day. That leaves 16 hours overnight when the city is basicallyunguarded.
"When he's not here we rely on county sheriffs--howeverit takes a while for them to get here," said Nelson City Councilman DuaneCronic.
That's why Cronic proposed the ordinance.
"Every head of household will own and maintain afirearm," he said.
Bill McNiff lives in Nelson, carries a pistol and supportsthe law.
"I think every city should do it. I think it should gocountywide too," McNiff said.
The Nelson ordinance is modeled closely after the 1982 lawpassed in Kennesaw.
It requires gun ownership, but allows several outs, like ifyou're not physically or mentally able to handle a gun, or if you're a felon orhave religious objections.
"It's a deterrent ordinance," Cronic said."It tells the potential intruder you better think twice."
"Why have an ordinance if you're not going to enforceit? What's the point? They just want publicity to say Nelson is a town full ofweapons," Nelson resident Lamar Kellett said.
Kellett isn't opposed to having guns, just having thegovernment tell him he has to do it.
"This is big government at its worst. Governmentmandating what a free individual can and will have in his home," Kellettsaid.
City leaders could make the proposal law at the next councilmeeting, which is April 1.