Brady Center Sues Georgia Town Over Mandatory Gun Law
July 17, 2013 by Ben Bullard
Back in April, as rhetoric from the White House and some members of Congress on â€śgun controlâ€ť was ramping up, the small town of Nelson, Ga., decided to take a stand on any possible attempts by outside lawmakers to restrict its residentsâ€™ 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.
Nelsonâ€™s â€śFamily Protection Ordinanceâ€ť wasnâ€™t intended to be enforced. And there were all kinds of exceptions for residents who held principled objections to owning guns, who couldnâ€™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, isnâ€™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 Centerâ€™s own interpretation of the 2nd Amendment essentially castrates its power to arm the citizenry.
It appears that one of the townâ€™s residents, who is also a member of the Brady center, didnâ€™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. Heâ€™s named in the lawsuit.
The Brady Center hasnâ€™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 thereâ€™s likewise been no interest from the gun control lobby — so far.