You MUST own a gun - it's the law!
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You MUST own a gun - it's the law!

This is a discussion on You MUST own a gun - it's the law! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Main Category category; SOUNDS LIKE MY KINDA PLACE: KENNESAW, Ga - Several Kennesaw officials attribute a drop in crime in the city over ...

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    Default You MUST own a gun - it's the law!

    SOUNDS LIKE MY KINDA PLACE:

    KENNESAW, Ga - Several Kennesaw officials attribute a drop in crime in the city over the past two decades to a law that requires residents to have a gun in the house.

    In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.

    The ordinance states the gun law is needed to "protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants."

    Then-councilman J.O. Stephenson said after the ordinance was passed, everyone "went crazy."

    "People all over the country said there would be shootings in the street and violence in homes," he said. "Of course, that wasn't the case."

    In fact, according to Stephenson, it caused the crime rate in the city to plunge.

    Kennesaw Historical Society president Robert Jones said following the law's passage, the crime rate dropped 89 percent in the city, compared to the modest 10 percent drop statewide.

    "It did drop after it was passed," he said. "After it initially dropped, it has stayed at the same low level for the past 16 years."

    Mayor Leonard Church was not in office when the law was passed, but he said he is a staunch supporter of it.

    "You can't argue with the fact that Kennesaw has the lowest crime rate of any city our size in the country," said Church, who owns a denture-making company in Kennesaw.

    The author of the ordinance, local attorney Fred Bentley Sr., attributes at least some of the decrease in crime to the bill.

    "I am definitely in favor of what we did," he said. "It may not be totally responsible for the decrease, [but] it is a part."

    Although he is pleased with the outcome, Bentley said he was originally opposed to drafting the law.

    "I didn't think it could be written in a constitutional fashion," he said. "Obviously, it was constitutional, because the American Civil Liberties Union challenged it in court and we won."

    Jones said the ACLU challenged the law in a federal court just after it was passed. In response, the city added a clause adding conscientious objectors to the list of those exempt.

    Although the law is now being credited with a drop in crime, Jones said that was not the law's original purpose. He also pointed out that Kennesaw did not have a big problem with crime before.

    "The crime rate wasn't that high to start with. It was 11 burglaries per 1,000 residents in 1981," he said.

    According to the Kennesaw Police Department, the city's most recent crime statistics show 243 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 1998, or .243 per 1,000.

    The city's crime rate continues to be far below other metro Atlanta city's with similar populations, like Decatur. In 1998, Decatur recorded 4,049 property crimes per 100,000 residents.

    Jones said one motivation for the council passing the ordinance had to do with publicity.

    "It was done in response to a law passed by Morton Grove, Ill., outlawing gun ownership within the city limits," he said. "Several council members were upset Morton Grove had gotten a lot of attention with their ordinance so they decided to top them.

    "They figured the gun ownership ordinance would knock that city right off the front pages. They were right."

    Jones said the ensuing publicity surrounding the law has given Kennesaw worldwide name recognition.

    "I have been to Australia and Europe and when I tell people I am from Kennesaw they recognize the name as the place that requires everyone to own a gun," he said.

    But Stephenson said the issue was not publicity-driven but issue-driven.

    "We believed in the right of people to own guns," he said.

    Jones said he has sold 550 copies of a 1994 book about the first-of-its-kind law, "The Law Heard 'Round the World."

    He said the law in its final form has many loopholes, so not everyone is required to own a gun.

    "There are many outs," he said. "When you look at it, almost anyone could fit into one of the exempted groups."

    Kennesaw Police Chief Dwaine Wilson said no one has ever been prosecuted under the ordinance.

    Among those exempt are residents "who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine." Others exempt include the physically and mentally disabled, paupers and those convicted of a felony.

    The law contains no clause addressing punishment for violating the law. If convicted, City Clerk Diane Coker said punishment would be determined by the general penalty clause of the Kennesaw Code Ordinance - probably a fine of about $100.

    Jones said the unusual law has not deterred anyone from moving to Kennesaw.

    "Our population has increased just like everyone's in Georgia in the past 20 years," he said. "The law really hasn't done any harm to the city's growth."

    The city's population in 1998 was recorded at 14,493 - a sharp increase over the 8,936 residents recorded in the 1990 census.

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    Just as I object to the anti gun laws which prohibit ownership, I also object to laws requiring, it should be the choice of the individual. However a form of incentive such as a lowering of property taxes to gun owners would be a far better form of friendly persuasion.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
    "Don't be so open minded that your brains fall out!" Father John Corapi.

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    This has been around for years. It's true about the law, however it's not enforced. It's more of a rebuttal over the anti-gun laws.
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... -- Richard Henry Lee, 1787

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    I'm from the Kennesaw area and it seems most people there don't even know about the ordinance that exists. It is a low crime area because there isn't a whole lot there. No attractions of any sort, really and there are no ill maintained sectors.
    Gun control: Forcing a 95lb woman to fist fight a 300lb rapist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan H View Post
    I'm from the Kennesaw area and it seems most people there don't even know about the ordinance that exists. It is a low crime area because there isn't a whole lot there. No attractions of any sort, really and there are no ill maintained sectors.
    I remember when it was passed.... It was in responce to the Morton Grove ban.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
    "Don't be so open minded that your brains fall out!" Father John Corapi.

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    The town of Franklintown, PA, which is north of me passed a similar law.

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    They sound like my kind of towns.... Perhaps we need their city council members to relocate to DC!!

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    Sensible Gun Registration Plan

    Finally .... A Sensible Gun Registration Plan That Will Work...and make a bit of money too.....Clif
    Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Vermont 's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.
    Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.
    Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals.
    Vermont 's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise."
    Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says.
    Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state .. it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation.
    "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
    This makes sense! There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way.
    [

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    And from my perception having lived in NH for many years, I always considered VT to be a liberal haven. It is nice to know that one state is trying to get it right.

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    The Kennesaw law is one with which I would enthusiastically comply!

    Representative Maslack has a good idea, but I suggest 1 improvement: tax the non-gun-owner but use the money to buy guns for the right-thinking gun-owners in Vermont.

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