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 House in Nelson, GA (for sale at $112k) (courtesy

Back in 1982, the City Council in Kennesaw Georgia didn’t like the news from up north. Up in the Land of Lincoln, the Morton Grove Illinois City Council passed an ordinance outlawing firearms within city limits. (Since struck down by the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision). In response, Kennesaw famously passed a city ordinance mandating gun ownership for its residents, exempting anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t comply. At the time the ordinance was considered political thee-ater. Over time, the academics looked closer . . .

Despite dire warnings that the ordinance would result in blood running in the streets, Kennesaw’s crime rate decreased by more than 50 percent between 1982 and 2005. It now has one of the lowest crime rates in the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007, Family Circle magazine selected Kennsaw as one of the nation’s “10 best towns for families.” reports that Nelson, Georgia is similarly P.O.ed at the current push for civilian disarmament. Some 31 years later, Nelson wants to get some of that pro-gun sugar.

Council members in Nelson, a city of about 1,300 residents that’s located 50 miles north of Atlanta, voted unanimously to approve the Family Protection Ordinance. The measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to “provide for the emergency management of the city” and to “provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.” . . .

Councilman Duane Cronic, who sponsored the measure, said he knows the ordinance won’t be enforced but he still believes it will make the town safer.

“I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards. Some people have security systems, some people don’t, but they put those signs up,” he said. “I really felt like this ordinance was a security sign for our city. Basically it was a deterrent ordinance to tell potential criminals they might want to go on down the road a little bit.”

I’m sure the residents of Dawsonville, Jasper, Canton and Holly Springs like the sound of that. Or not. Anyway,  just how much crime could there be in this town of 1,300 nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians?

Not much, admits Police Chief Heath Mitchell, the town’s only full-time police officer.  It’s been five years since they had a homicide and there may be a minor break-in every few months. But backers wanted to make a statement about gun rights and basically fart in the gun grabbers’ collective faces. Mission accomplished.

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  1. They could give this thing teeth if they so desired. Thanks to SCOTUS, all they have to do is declare a “tax” on all non gun owners and boom, government mandated firearms ownership.

    • We could frame this as charging people for failing to eliminate criminals therefore costing us money in court and prisons.
      If this logic works for healthcare it should work here.

  2. While I want to agree with this ordinance, it goes against what I believe to be the role of the government, and it would be hypocritical of me to praise this type of government intrusion and then turn around and demean other big government controls over our daily lives.

    • I’m not sure how intrusive this could realistically be if the ordinance states that:
      “(b)Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.”

      Apparently all you have to do to be exempt is to desire to be exempt.

      • We should try to get exemptions like this in CA, NYC, IL, CT or any other gun restricted location. Something like “Everyone will be exempt who wants to a) own a modern sports rifle with up to 25 attachments, b) own a magazine with no more than 200 rounds in it, c) own any device that hangs off the front of any gun to help aim, reduce noise, or just for the fun of it, or d) wants to own any gun ever made.

    • That was my first thought too, however section B of the law states

      “… Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.”

      The law is actually useless and unenforceable, the goal is to make a statement.

    • Twelve of the thirteen colonies required free men to own weapons. This makes much more sense than the standing army we have had for the past 70-odd years.

    • Yessir. It’s a momentary elation, but such coercion is repugnant to me. I’d be fine with it if they’d offer maybe a tax incentive – which is entirely realistic – for citizens to arm themselves and their homes. They’re unlikely to let any tax revenue escape their clutches, though. Maybe they could find a menu of incentives. Pick one from column A and two from…

    • The role of the government is, among other things, to insure domestic tranquility. The government is not the elected, but the electorate. Not so much a militia, but the Sheriff’s posse. Does that make it more palatable?

    • I somewhat agree with you. I think it would have been better to issue this as not a mandate/ordinance but issued guideline from city hall, perhaps with support and endorsement from the local police chief. It could be used to change the entire demeanor about gun ownership – it would become viewed as a civic responsibility that was encouraged and made a point of pride. I believe this would have much the same effect, at least in smaller communities – it would be a lead balloon in a larger more metro town.

    • They’ll only say something if they can’t avoid it. It draws too much attention for their liking.

  3. Sounds like a good place for Magpul to relocate to.

    Good idea, generally. As long as there’s a liberal conscientious objector clause. No one should actually be punished for not possessing a firearm.

  4. GA is a very gun friendly state, and I love living here.

    I had initially thought that these ordinances would be technically illegal since the state has preemption on firearms laws, however it appears that the state allows this particular type of ordinance: “State preemption law does allow local governments to pass ordinances requiring the ownership of firearms within the political subdivision” (

  5. Glad they’re not going to enforce it. There is never any justification for forcing a peaceful person at gunpoint (which is what governments do) to do anything.

  6. You are wrong. There is a time to force a peaceful person to do something through the force of government. For instance, I know a lot of peaceful deadbeat fathers who don’t pay their child support for the kid that they made. I’m sure that other instances could be thought of if one thought long enough.

  7. Sort of tangentially off-topic I often wonder how things would be turning out differently had our leaders (Obama, et al) have come out swinging the day after Sandy Hook.

    Instead of “these poor children, our hearts bleed for them, we must remove all weapons from the face of the planet so this never happens again”, something like: Walking to the podium, holding an AR-15 above his head and booming “You want to hurt our children? you want to kill our children? how about we give you some of this?? we’re going to arm the teachers, arm the principals, arm the janitors if we have to but make no mistake: our kids will be safe!!”

  8. I lived in Kennesaw until a bit over a year ago, and now live in an equally gun-friendly town nearby. A member of the local PD told me that they estimate that there are more guns than people in my county.

    Strangely low crime rate ensues…

  9. While it may be coercive (in the very mildest sense), it actually resembles a constitutional exercise of power, like what can be found in Art. I of the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress power to organize and maintain the militia. Such was also the case in the original colonies and state militia acts.

    Government isn’t always evil. There are some things it should do and some things it should not do. In recent years it has done little it should do and much that it shouldn’t. See for example all the federal money spent on studying duck genitals while DHS lets drug cartels run our southern border. Anyway, I could live with this kind of government.

  10. Making gun ownership mandatory is the same as making health care mandatory. It’s a violation of liberty. (Yes, yes, I saw all the comments about how it’s unenforcable). Instead of making it mandatory, they should simply remove all restrictions. That would make the same statement and be in compliance with liberty.

  11. Evidence is getting pretty lopsided. FL, TX, small towns, then compare to Chicago and CA’s 2012 crime stats (CA had a giant jump in crime last year!) Guns save lives just like CPR.


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