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North Georgia town may require gun ownership

10:12 PM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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NELSON, Ga. (WXIA) -- More than thirty years after Kennesaw passed a law requiring residents to own a gun, another Georgia town may join them in the public spotlight.

In a unanimous vote, the Nelson city council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance they've dubbed the "Family Protection Act."

It would require the head of every household "to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition."

"I've lived here all my life and most everybody who's original residents and always lived here have always had firearms," said Nelson resident Donna Hamby.

City council member Edith Portillo acknowledges that if passed, the law won't be enforced. It's more about sending a message to the Washington lawmakers who want to further restrict gun ownership.

"Our government at the moment, they want to take as much away from us as they can," said Portillo.

The proposal is patterned after the Kennesaw ordinance, which supporters insist has helped lower crime there.

If city leaders in Nelson give their version final approval, many people would be exempt, including a gun felons, paupers, and anyone with a mental or physical disability.

It would also exempt "anyone opposed to maintaining firearms."

Still, Nelson resident Lamar Kellett says his town is going too far.

"What's the point?" asked Kellett. "By their own admission this is a sham. It's just for play."

The proposed law is part of a campaign led by Bill McNiff, chairman of the Canton Tea Party. He hopes to sell the same idea in other nearby towns and beyond.

"We want to take this county wide," said McNiff. "Then go statewide and to other states, hopefully."

Nelson Council member Duane Cronic says he hopes the ordinance will make criminals think twice before entering his town.

The council will take a final vote next month.

Jerry Carnes, WXIA

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