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Brady Center Sues Georgia Town Over Mandatory Gun Law

July 17, 2013 by  

Brady Center Sues Georgia Town Over Mandatory Gun Law
PHOTOS.COM

Back in April, as rhetoric from the White House and some members of Congress on “gun control” was ramping up, the small town of Nelson, Ga., decided to take a stand on any possible attempts by outside lawmakers to restrict its residents’ 2nd Amendment freedom. It did so by passing an ordinance requiring the head of every household in town to own a gun and ammunition.

It was a partially symbolic move, but it also set in place a local law that assured residents their local leaders came down on the side of the Bill of Rights at a time when it looked as though Congress might buckle to pressure from President Barack Obama and the gun control lobby.

Nelson’s “Family Protection Ordinance” wasn’t intended to be enforced. And there were all kinds of exceptions for residents who held principled objections to owning guns, who couldn’t afford guns or who had committed crimes that made them ineligible to own guns. The town has only a single police officer, and he made clear he had more important things to keep him occupied than enforcing the gun ordinance.

But now the city is facing a Federal lawsuit filed by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which alleges the law, despite its provisions for residents to opt out, isn’t Constitutional because it requires something of people that the Constitutions enumerates as a freedom: not an obligation to the state. Never mind that the Brady Center’s own interpretation of the 2nd Amendment essentially castrates its power to arm the citizenry.

It appears that one of the town’s residents, who is also a member of the Brady center, didn’t think himself eligible for any of the exemptions that, under the ordinance, would have allowed him to continue to live without a gun, so he went out and bought one. He’s named in the lawsuit.

The Brady Center hasn’t sued Kennesaw, Ga., a larger Atlanta suburb only a few miles down the road from Nelson, even though Kennesaw has had the same type of ordinance on the books since 1982. The small Colorado town of Nucla also passed a similar ordinance in May, but there’s likewise been no interest from the gun control lobby — so far.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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