Some Communities Seek to Require Gun Ownership

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“I am in no way attempting to face off with the federal government, only doing what an elected official is supposed to do,” Councilman Doug Cronic, who proposed the ordinance, said in an email Friday. The rule passed unanimously on its first reading and awaits a final vote April 1.

In Kennesaw, Ga., city officials worried at the time of its law’s passage in 1982 that population growth in nearby Atlanta might bring crime to the community, which now has about 30,000 people.

“They wanted to send an anti-crime message, also,” Craydon said. And it has worked, he argued, with crime staying low.

Craydon acknowledged Kennesaw’s ordinance is “unenforceable” and said no attempt has ever been made to do so.

Some communities don’t go so far as to call for required gun ownership.

Spring City, Utah, moved forward with an ordinance this year “recommending” the idea of keeping firearms. Other ordinances have been passed in Virgin, Utah, and Cherry Tree, Pa., largely as symbolic gestures.

A southwestern Idaho town of 900 people, Greenleaf, adopted an ordinance in 2006 that encourages residents who don’t object on religious or other reasons to keep a gun in the house and to seek training on using firearms. City officials said they don’t know how many residents own guns.

In Maine, Byron’s Simmons-Edmunds said that probably 90 percent of the households in town already have a gun and that passage would not mean the town would enforce it by checking every household.

“We not going to invade anybody’s privacy,” Byron’s Simmons-Edmunds said. “We just want to send a statement that we’re not going to give up our guns.”

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