Georgia town mulls mandatory gun ownership
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
- Council members in Nelson plan a vote next month
- Nelson is a town of 1,300 people north of Atlanta
- It would be a "deterrent ordinance," one council member says
- The town police chief supports the measure
Atlanta (CNN) -- A small Georgia town may soon require every household to own a firearm -- a law that, if passed, would make it the second town in the state to mandate gun ownership.
City council members in Nelson, a town of 1,300 people north of Atlanta, unanimously approved the proposal at a meeting this week. Citizens now have a chance to review the proposal before the council takes it up again in April.
"Basically this is a deterrent ordinance," Councilman Duane Cronic said at the meeting. "It's no more than putting a sign in your front yard saying that 'ADT protects this home.' Now the person that may be there (checking) your home out to cause harm to you or your family to break into your house has to decide, 'When I break that door down, what's on the other side of that door?'"
Town wants guns in every household
Man spills secrets of illegal gun trade
Snoop: We are guilty of promoting guns
The law would give every family the right to protect themselves and their property "without worrying about prosecution for protecting themselves," Cronic told the meeting. He said the proposal was modeled on a similar law in nearby Kennesaw, Georgia, that has been on the books since 1982.
Nelson Police Chief Heath Mitchell told council members the proposal is a great idea.
"I think y'all are showing the people that you're in full support of the Constitution," Mitchell said. "And as far as the Second Amendment goes, that you stand behind it, you stand behind people's rights."
The two-paragraph proposal reads, "In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore."
People with physical or mental disabilities are exempt from the law, as are "paupers," felons, and those who oppose gun ownership based on belief or religious doctrine.
Complete coverage: The gun debate
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords co-authors a piece discussing the lethal mix of domestic violence and guns.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
Gun rights and gun control advocates largely agree there should be restrictions on mentally ill people obtaining firearms.
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
June 13, 2013 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
Six months after a gunman burst into an elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and killed six others, promises of stricter national gun control laws remain largely unfulfilled.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Next time there's a mass shooting, don't jump to blame the NRA and lax gun laws. Look first at the shooter and the mental health services he did or didn't get.
June 8, 2013 -- Updated 1120 GMT (1920 HKT)
The sign at the door of the Colt factory displays a gun with a slash through it. Makes sense for workers at a plant, ironic considering one of the largest arsenals in America lies just beyond.
June 8, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
Much attention has been paid to the defeat in Congress of proposals to ban assault weapons and expand background checks for firearm purchases.
June 29, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" gives an in-depth look at the issue of firearms -- as viewed from behind the counter of a gun store.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1728 GMT (0128 HKT)
The Supreme Court continued its recent hands-off approach on gun control, refusing to accept a challenge to New Jersey's restrictions on carrying weapons in public.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
The Senate defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.
April 12, 2013 -- Updated 0003 GMT (0803 HKT)
As Congress grapples with major gun control legislation proposals, families write about the people they loved and lost to gun violence and how it changed their lives.
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1245 GMT (2045 HKT)
Hear from both sides of the gun debate as opinions clash.
May 1, 2013 -- Updated 1744 GMT (0144 HKT)
It was a bit awkward the first time Kate Daggett asked the question.
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1341 GMT (2141 HKT)
Many Americans and lawmakers are in favor of continuing or expanding background checks on gun purchases, but few understand how the checks work.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Still stinging from the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook, Connecticut lawmakers approved what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.
March 29, 2013 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
It took fewer than five minutes for Adam Lanza to squeeze off 154 rounds, upending life in Newtown, Connecticut, and triggering a renewed national debate over gun control.
Who should get them? Join the gun control debate and share your perspective on CNN iReport.
April 2, 2013 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Before having children, she was a firm believer that guns were dangerous. Now this mother of three has a different perspective.
March 19, 2013 -- Updated 2254 GMT (0654 HKT)
In the biggest fight over firearms since December's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, gun-control advocates are poised to notch a victory in an unlikely place.
A former drug addict turned anti-violence crusader, and a man who lost his father in a temple shooting. These are just two of many in the conversation.
February 1, 2013 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)
At a town hall that brought all sides of the gun debate together, was there a consensus? Sort of.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1551 GMT (2351 HKT)
The federal background check system for gun buyers didn't stop a mentally ill man from buying a gun, which he used to kill his mother.
February 1, 2013 -- Updated 0037 GMT (0837 HKT)
In disputes over the future of gun laws, people espousing different positions often literally don't understand each other.