Can governments require guns? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Can governments require guns?

Nelson, a town near Atlanta is getting a lot of attention for a proposed ordinance that the city council is considering Nelson, a town near Atlanta is getting a lot of attention for a proposed ordinance that the city council is considering
An Albany attorney believes that the proposal could become more common An Albany attorney believes that the proposal could become more common
Should the right to bear arms be forced upon residents? Should the right to bear arms be forced upon residents?
some city leaders want to make it mandatory for all residents to own guns some city leaders want to make it mandatory for all residents to own guns
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

City leaders in a small north Georgia town are considering an ordinance that would make it mandatory for each household to have a gun.

Nelson, a town near Atlanta is getting a lot of attention for a proposed ordinance that the city council is considering.  It would require residents to own a gun and an Albany attorney believes that could become more common.

"This may be something that may become a trend, with budget cuts and police officers not being on the streets.  I think anytime you talk about guns and firearms, I think the number one rule should be that whoever carries the gun, handles it responsibly," said attorney Joe Godfrey.

With only one police officer on patrol eight hours out of each day, some city leaders want to make sure residents are able to protect themselves. One other Georgia city made headlines more than 30 years ago with a similar law. I believe if you'll look at Kennesaw, which I believe passed a law in 1982 in reference to fire arms, I believe their crime rate has dramatically decreased over the years because of it," said Frank Herndon a sales person at Backwood Outdoors in Lee County.

While it may cut down on crime and provide protection, the question remains should it be mandatory? "It's their right to carry a gun, if they want to or they don't want to. Not everybody knows how to handle guns, so it could be a benefit or it could be a hazard," said Lee County resident Anna Conley.

The residents believe that no one should be forced to own a gun. "That's a point of a life that you don't want to do. I don't see a lot of folks having to take that chance, to have to kill someone their self, when you have people that are trained and can get paid to do it," said Mitchell County resident Douglas Buckner.

They say its simple; the right to bear arms should be a choice not law. The proposal has several exceptions.  People who can't legally own guns or are not physically or mentally able to handle a gun or those that have a religious objection would be exempt.

The city council in Nelson could take a vote on the ordinance as early as April 1st.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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