A city in northern Georgia is giving the term “bucking the trend” new meaning, as city officials are mulling an ordinance that would actually make it a crime not to own a weapon.
City officials in Nelson, where the population stands at about 1,300, say the ordinance is needed to help with law enforcement, The Associated Press reports. Only one police officer is on patrol during the day. For 16 hours of each 24-hour period, residents are left without any police protection at all, AP says.
Nelson City Councilman Duane Cronic said in the AP report the community is at risk, if a real emergency struck, because victims would have to rely on sheriffs from neighboring counties to make the drive and respond.
The Nelson ordinance mirrors one that passed in Kennesaw, Ga., in 1982, AP says. That law — requiring each homeowner to have at least one gun – has actually resulted in lower crime rates, Marietta Daily Journal reports.
Kennesaw Historical Society president Robert Jones said the crime rate, since the law’s passage, fell by 89 percent in the city. That’s compared to a state drop in crime of 10 percent, Marietta Daily Journal reports.
“It did drop after it was passed,” Mr. Jones said, in the report. “After it initially dropped, it has stayed at the same low level for the past 16 years.”
Nelson city leaders are expected to decide on their ordinance at the upcoming council meeting, April 1, AP reports.