Mandatory gun ownership laws are pending in a handful of American towns. Even though government leaders in the towns pushing for the gun law largely consider the mandate unenforceable, they are still going forward with proposals.
The tiny town of Byron, Maine is the latest municipality to propose a mandatory gun ownership law. In Byron, the population of approximately 140 residents take an up or down on all municipal resolutions. The New England town is led by a Board of Selectmen, similar to a town council. All three Selectmen support the gun rights proposal.
The Byron ordinance is reportedly an attempt to block new gun control laws or a semi-automatic weapons ban. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills noted the law would be pre-empted by a 2011 state law which prohibits municipalities from approving gun regulations.
Sabattus, a town in the southwestern region of Maine recently considered a similar gun rights law, but the police chief advised against passage. Sabbattus, like a multiple towns from Idaho to Georgia, are proposing recommended or mandatory gun ownership laws in an effort to decrease crime and preempt any type of gun ban by the federal government.
Two Atlanta area towns have also passed or are considering similar pro-Second Amendment mandatory gun ownership laws. Both suburbs were reportedly concerned about crime flowing out of the metropolitan area and landing on their doorsteps.
Nelson,Georgia citizens noted their support for gun rights and armed citizens due to “light” police patrols that do not protect residents throughout the entire day. Nelson has a population of approximately 1,300 residents. The law would exempt felons and folks who object to owning a firearm for religious reasons or personal beliefs. The first reading of the gun law passed unanimously on its first reading. A final vote will be held on April 1.
The Atlanta area city of Kennesaw passed a similar law in 1982. The city with a population of approximately 30,000 wanted to send an anti-crime message to folks who may wander into their town from Atlanta. Police Lt. Craig Graydon said the gun ownership law worked and crime has stayed low. The Georgia law enforcement officer acknowledges that the ordinance is unenforceable and stated he has never attempted to do so.
A recommended gun ownership law in two Utah and one Pennsylvania also passed earlier this year. A town in southwestern Idaho passed a law that encourages all citizens who do not object to gun ownership seek weapons training.
What do you think about the mandatory gun ownership laws?