The city of Nelson, GA overstepped their authority this past weekend by adopting an ordinance that requires gun ownership. The Family Protection Ordinance states:
“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.”
If this seems like a bit far-fetched, you’re right – the City Council acknowledges that the ordinance will not be enforced. The Council even included an exemption for those that opposed the measure.
So what’s the point of this document?
Well, the small town (population: 1,300) wanted to make a statement about gun rights. In the wake of some of the most restrictive gun control laws, the city of Nelson found it necessary to make an ordinance that would oppose any attempt by the federal government to tread on their second amendment rights.
But what if this ordinance was strictly enforced?
If the ordinance actually made it mandatory for households to have guns, it would be just as infringing on liberty as a law that denied guns to households; simply because one has the right to bear arms, doesn’t mean that you have to exercise that right. I grew up with guns in my household and I am a big fan of the second amendment, yet no law should make it mandatory that I have them. That completely takes away my liberty to decide what’s best for my home.
I understand that the city of Nelson is trying to make a statement about gun control, yet I don’t see how fighting restrictive laws with restrictive laws necessarily achieves that. If Nelson and other cities are weary of restrictive gun control laws, then of course they should speak out and challenge those laws. Yet, by requiring households to purchase a product (be it guns, healthcare, or even broccoli) you’re taking away an individual’s rights to make decisions they feel are best for their households. While perhaps well-intentioned, the Family Protection Ordinance should not be lauded because it violates personal choice and personal freedom.