Georgia Town Would Make Residents Own a Gun
Proponents say measure necessary with just 1 cop in town
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2013 6:36 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2013 7:15 AM CST
Nelson, Ga., is thinking about introducing a firearm requirement for all households.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Residents of Nelson, Ga., could soon have more than the right to bear arms—they could be legally required to, reports WSB-TV. With just one police officer in the 1,300-person town that straddles two counties, Nelson residents face long police response times, so local officials are introducing the Family Protection Act, which mandates that every head of household "maintain a firearm, together with ammunition." Of course, there will be plenty of room for exemptions—for convicted felons and people with religious objections—and officials say they don't intend on enforcing the statute. "Why have an ordinance if you're not going to enforce it? What's the point?," says one Nelson resident. "This is big government at its worst."

Nelson isn't the first town in the United States to ponder a firearms requirement, notes the Week. Among the others:

  • Kennesaw, Ga. The most famous example, Kennesaw has required every household to keep a firearm since 1982, though it's an unenforceable law. Police estimate that about half the town complies.
  • Sabattus, Maine. A retired cop wanted a gun requirement to make a statement against gun control talk since the Sandy Hook shootings, but the town council voted down his measure 4-0 on Tuesday. The local police chief said people "have the right not to bear arms."
  • Virgin, Utah. About 95% of the town's residents already had a firearm when the law passed in 2000. As in other towns, the measure isn't really enforced, though. "It's not enforcement," says the mayor, "it's a statement."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Georgia Town Would Make Residents Own a Gun is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 144 comments
Mar 8, 2013 9:21 AM CST
Amazing how Headlines can mislead the general public. The proposed law DOES NOT make it mandatory to own a firearm of keep one in your home. There are exemptions for those whom do not wish to own a firearm. New 2A Site GunRightsAttorneys.Com
Mar 8, 2013 1:29 AM CST
Not a bit socialist or communist sounding there, mandating that the population buy a firearm, whether they want one or not (I can see such a law going over well with Quakers or Amish town members for instance What is it about the 2nd Amendment that makes gun-crazy lawmakers forget the rest of the Bill of Rights? (You know, like there is a 5th Amendment in the B.O.R. that allows for a person to stay silent even though they have a 1st Amendment right to free speech? The law in this Newser article would be akin to telling someone they had no 5th Amendment right to remain silent if the 1st & 2nd Amendments were treated equally Red (neck) States: Stop making stupid laws like this.
Mar 7, 2013 4:29 PM CST
I'll bet there won't be any home invasions in those counties.