Georgia city ordinance requires residents to own guns - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Georgia city ordinance requires residents to own guns

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A second Georgia city approved an ordinance requiring residents to have a gun in their home.

The city of Nelson follows the lead of Kennesaw, which passed a similar law more than 30 years ago. Nelson's police chief, Heath Mitchell, says it will help his understaffed department.

Mitchell is the city's only officer.

"We're budgeted for a few more officers, but right now we just have one and I'm pretty much doing it all right now," Mitchell said.

But when a city council member first approached him about passing a law that would require people to have a gun in their home, he was skeptical until he spoke with Kennesaw's police chief.

"I worried at first. I had my doubts. And after speaking with him a couple of hours and going over some stats, I was all for it," said Mitchell.

The chief believes a mandatory gun law would be a deterrent to crime and protect citizens from being prosecuted should they resort to using one to defend themselves or their property.

The chief says the plan is to post signs at the city limit so bad guys will know to pass right on by the City of Nelson.

"We're probably going to go ahead and post the ordinance, you know, 'Firearms required in the city of Nelson,'" Mitchell said.

Leroy Blackwell has lived in Nelson for more than 50 years. He doesn't have a problem with the law as long as people can make up their own minds about whether to arm themselves.

"It ought to be volunteer. I mean you have a right to have one or not. Everybody don't feel the same about it, I'm sure, but you got to protect yourself and protect your home," Blackwell said.

The Nelson City Council unanimously approved the mandatory gun law on Monday.  In anticipation of the ordinance, Chief Mitchell is offering free firearm safety training courses and gun inspections.

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