According to a proposed ordinance.www.arkcity.net/stories/111403/com_0003.shtml
Geuda Springs councilman defends gun law
By KATHY KENDRICK
Geuda Springs City Council member John Brewer said he wants to set the record straight regarding an ordinance he proposed requiring all citizens of the community to possess a firearm and ammunition. Brewer said that, because of an old rough draft of the ordinance that is being circulated, many people throughout the state do not have a true picture of the content and purpose of the proposed law.
"Someone has stolen an early draft of the ordinance and sent it out," Brewer said. "The rough draft had several mistakes in it, all of which have been corrected in the final copy."
The ordinance, which was passed by the Council on November 3, states that every head of household living in the community of about 200 is required to own a firearm and ammunition.
"We are an incorporated city," Brewer said. "As an incorporated city, we have duties and responsibilities to our citizens. One is utilities, one is protection and one is judicial services. We currently provide utilities and judicial services are provided by the county, but we currently don,t provide protection. Here in Geuda Springs, we don,t have a police force or a marshal, and the protection of the people is mandated to the city government. The ordinance is really just a legal statement that shows that we are providing for protection of our citizens. It fulfills the duty to protect by allowing each individual household to provide for his or her own protection. We are simply using the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the City of Geuda Springs' advantage."
Brewer said the proposed law also helps to ensure the citizens the right to own a firearm.
"All of the big cities are attacking the gun manufacturers and blaming them for crimes committed in their cities," Brewer said. "They are still legal instruments. We are just trying to overcome one more stumbling block that gun owners face."
The proposed law does provide for several exemptions to the mandate, including those who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to operate a firearm. Other exemptions are made for those who conscientiously oppose owning a gun due to their beliefs or religious doctrine and anyone that as been convicted of a felony.
"We don't want anyone who does not want to have a gun to have one," Brewer said. "If they just flat don't want one, we are not going to make them have one."
The ordinance also provides for a penalty of a fine of not more than $10 for violators.
"We believe that if we are going to have the law, we have to provide a penalty," Brewer said.
"We don't want anybody to be fined. We will not be running around searching homes and assessing fines. The only reason we have that included is that it would not be a law without a penalty or fine."
The ordinance includes a section on firearm safety and use of firearms within the city limits. The maintenance of the firearms rests on the owners,'along with the responsibility to keep them secured in a safe and responsible manner.
The proposed law also states that a firearm may not be fired in the community except in defending of person or property or if taking part in events with express permission of the City Council such as shooting matches, trap shoots and other shooting games.
Brewer said that he has received some positive feedback on the proposed law from some members of the community.
"About everybody I have talked to said they see nothing wrong with the law," Brewer said. "In my opinion, there may be about three to five percent of the public that are not in favor."
The ordinance has been approved by the Council, but has not yet been signed or published and has not yet become effective. The proposed law is currently being investigated by Thomas Herlocker, City Attorney for legal issues.
A copy of the ordinance was also sent by an unknown person to the Sumner County Sheriff,s Office, who then forwarded it to the Kansas Attorney General f or further review. Council members are expected to further discuss the issue at their next regular meeting, scheduled for December 1 at 7 p.m. at the City Building at 117 South First Street.