Amidst Social Media Frenzy, Chief Jacobs of Beloit Withdraws Offer to ‘Search Homes For Guns’

Chief Norm Jacobs says he had nothing but good intentions when he offered to search peoples’ homes for guns “that they might not know they had,” adding that it was strictly voluntary and they would have had to have a sign a release for the search, which was a detail left out of previous reports.

On Monday, the Inquisitr reported that Beloit, Wisconsin, police chief Norm Jacobs asked city residents to volunteer to have their homes searched for guns — part of an effort to make them aware of gun violence, and to possibly find “guns related to crimes” and “guns that residents didn’t know they have.” On Tuesday, the Beloit police department announced that social media had run wild with the news and the offer had been retracted.

Numerous gun rights advocates took to Twitter and Facebook by storm to express outrage over the perceived threat to the second and fourth amendment rights. News of Beloit’s police department offer quickly went viral, with sites like Citizens Defense Leagues and even the NRA expressing concern over Jacob’s proposition.

Jacobs said that the actual program was not ever actually approved and now likely would not be due to the media storm, which was overwhelmingly negative in nature.

According to the Examiner, Beloit City Manager Larry N. Arft announced the end of Jacobs’ program with the following statement.

“While the program was strictly voluntary and required a signed release before police could enter a residence, numerous individuals have expressed concerns about the fact that people’s homes would be inspected or searched as part of the process.”

In an interview with the Examiner, Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said the initial announcement by Chief Jacobs noted that there would have to be a signed release from the homeowner or tenant before an officer would enter the premises. That, however, seemed to disappear in the discussion to the point that Arft said the proposal, “got grossly misrepresented in the social media.”

It seemed to be Jacobs’ own words that caused the civil outcry, comparing guns to Ebola and suggesting that people had guns in their home that they didn’t know that they had.

Art Thomm, Vice President and Lobbyist of the West Virginia Citizens’ Defense League, had strongly cautioned Beloit’s residents about the proposal on Monday. Thomm offered his thoughts again today and states he is pleased with the decision to withdraw the offer to search homes of Beloit for guns.

“I don’t believe the intent was ‘grossly misrepresented’ at all. I’m pleased to hear the Chief withdrew his offer and that the people of Beloit have been heard.”