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Posted: 10/24/2004 9:12:31 PM EDT
a few years ago a high school teacher told me of a small town in arizona that had an enormous burglary problem. to solve it, the sheriff ordered everyone in the town to keep a gun. this caused the problem to dissappear. has anyone else heard of this and know the name of the town?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:14:30 PM EDT
Dunno about that.

There is a city in GA that has an ordinance that the head of every household is to keep a firearm and a supply of ammo.

Google it, and post what you find
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:17:12 PM EDT
It might have been Graham county sheriff Richard Mack but I don't recall the robbery issue.
He fought against the AWB and is now a candidate for Governor in Utah.
I recall a town in the south that required all residents to be armed, maybe thats it.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:22:01 PM EDT
I believe it's where Tapco is based-> Kennesaw, GA
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:24:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2004 9:24:21 PM EDT by nationwide]

Originally Posted By TopCrest:
I believe it's where Tapco is based-> Kennesaw, GA

nationwide sez: "We have a winner!"
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:24:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/24/2004 9:24:49 PM EDT by topgunpilot20]
here's a utah town:


Gun-toting in America's outback
In Virgin, Utah 'maintaining arms' is required by law
By Allen Abel
National Post

VIRGIN, Utah - Away from the valley of the Great Salt Lake, Utah is as vacant as a skating judge's conscience. This is the American Outback -- the cinnamon cliffs and sage-brushed tablelands of the most beautiful wilderness in the world.

Down near the Arizona state line, there's a quick brown river that slices through a mesa on its way to the canyons of the mighty Colorado. The river is the Virgin, its fount is the jagged rockscape of Zion National Park, and its namesake -- the only settlement on this plateau for miles and miles -- is a notorious little village where each and every family is required to maintain a working gun.

Virgin, Utah.

The town's Ordinance For Civil Emergencies reads, in part:

"Heads of households to maintain arms:

"In order to provide for the emergency management of the town, and to provide for the civil defence of the Town of Virgin, and further, in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the town and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the Virgin Town limits is required to maintain arms."

It's symbolic, of course; as in the Australian Outback, where I spent the last Summer Olympiad, no legislation is necessary to encourage a culture of firearms in the russet vales of southern Utah. And there are exceptions: felons, the mentally ill, conscientious objectors, and those too poor to be able to afford ammunition. Everyone else has one finger on the trigger and one hand on the Constitution of the United States.

As the Mayor of the village explains: "No police force has the responsibility to protect you. If somebody does something to you, they can arrest him, but if you give citizens a means to protect themselves, they can protect themselves for the rest of their lives.

"So I know, if I break into a house in Virgin, Utah, I'm taking my life in my hands."

The Mayor is a 57-year-old child of these spectacular clefts and cliffs named Jay Lee. He's a smallish man in an Ace Hardware ball cap, with a resemblance to the race driver Bobby Unser, compact and lean. He was elected by a count of 86 votes to 52 for a term that doesn't expire until 2006.

We're wandering along Main Street, heading down a sandy trail to look at an old swinging bridge that spans the rushing Virgin. He's telling me about the influence a small-town mayor can have in the Beehive State.

"If I call Salt Lake City and say, 'This is Jay Lee,' I never get through to anybody. But if I say, "This is Mayor Jay Lee, then someone important gets on the phone right away. If they looked it up, they'd see that I only represent 400 people, but they're way too busy up there."

He was 19 years old and serving as a Mormon missionary in the State of Washington before he saw his first traffic light. He would have fought in Vietnam, he says, but for a mastoid infection that kept him out of the army.

"I was doin' real good on my physical," he tells me, "until they looked inside my head."

The gun legislation sprang from two sources: A similar action by a town in Georgia, and a trip the mayor took to his State Capitol a few years ago.

"I went up to Salt Lake one time to see one of our state senators," Mr. Lee says. "We were concerned about traffic on the highway going through town too fast, and they told me I should just get a police car and set it out on the highway with a mannequin in it, and that would slow 'em down.

"While I was up there, I saw something somebody had painted on the sidewalk. It said, 'I love my country but I fear my government.' That really hit me.

"We don't like big government --that's not how it's supposed to be. They keep givin' themselves more power, and we can only blame ourselves for letting them. In a government of the people, by the people, if there's a problem, it's our fault."

The Mayor of Virgin is one of thousands of Utahans who carries a concealed pistol. It's legal here, if one acquires the proper permit, to bring a hidden six-shooter into an elementary school, a tavern, a church, the State Capitol or just about anywhere. In a rare exception, the president of the University of Utah is endeavouring to keep concealed weapons off the campus, but the state's Attorney-General has ruled that such a prohibition would violate state law.

"I've gotten a few threats," Mr. Lee says, explaining his preference for arming himself at all times. "But nothin' I take serious."

When the Olympic flame passed through Virgin a few weeks ago (without stopping), the Mayor's wife, mindful of the overwhelming security presence that accompanies the sacred fire, asked him: "Are ya packin'?"

He wasn't. Nor is he allowed take his gun with him to his full-time job as an accounts manager for a local distributor of irrigation and plumbing supplies. His boss is against it.

"Are there any Democrats in Virgin, Utah?" I ask, out of the blue.

"Oh, I'm sure," the Mayor replies.

- - -

You may have read about Virgin, Utah, in the New York Times, or the Christian Science Monitor, or the Denver Post, or heard its Mayor on what he calls a "my-raid" of radio talk shows.

It was the writer from the Times who made light of the right to bear arms ordinance, noting that "nearly every home has a weapon and no amputees have moved to Virgin."

But the Mayor takes exception.

"As a matter of fact, we do have amputees," he says. "We'll be putting one on our planning commission pretty soon. She lost an arm to cancer, I think."

The Times also referred uncharitably to the Mayor's vehicle as "dung-stained."

He walks me over to his daughter's house to examine it. It's a little white Daihatsu Charade.

"I parked it under a tree," the Mayor shrugs. "There are birds in the trees. Birds do what birds do. But I wouldn't call it 'dung-stained.' "

- - -

Now that he has established the safety, security and general welfare of his townsmen, Jay Lee is preparing to take on the United Nations. He is not alone in this assault; at the base of the mesa upon which Virgin is perched is a municipality called LaVerkin, which already has put in motion a by-law prohibiting the UN and its agencies from setting up shop within the town boundary. That was the brain child of a former mayor of LaVerkin who is Jay Lee's brother-in-law.

There is an anti-UN petition to be signed at Kent's Drive-In in LaVerkin while you enjoy your elk or bison burger, and a billboard on Highway 9 that reads:

"True Patriots Live in LaVerkin!

When All Learn ... Truth ...We'll Speak with One United Voice!

Freedom Under God -- YES!

Global Government

Under United Nations -- NO!"

In Virgin, Mayor Lee has been studying a model resolution that would ordain:

"No United Nations personnel may conduct any official United Nations activity of any kind whatsoever and, under no circumstances, may United Nations peacekeeping or other troops be quartered on any property within the geographic limits of this city."

This, too, goes with the territory. Last summer, I interviewed an old cattle rancher in this area who told me -- straight-faced -- the United Nations is the very beast that rises out of the sea in Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation, "having seven heads and 10 horns."

So it would be prudent to keep it out of Virgin, as it would harm the tourist trade.

"I don't think we'll have the UN forces marchin' on us," the Mayor admits, when I press him on the issue. "But they keep talking about 'world peace' -- and that means us giving up our sovereignty and living under the United Nations."

- - -

As far as Jay Lee can recall, the last person to be killed by a firearm in Virgin, Utah, was his own uncle Ervin.

"He went out rabbit hunting," the Mayor says. "And when he got back, he reached in his truck to pull the gun off the seat and it went off and killed him."

I cluck in sympathy.

"When you get in a city, you get all that propaganda," he says. "'A firearm's terrible. A firearm's dangerous.' Well, in the United States, we have 1,500 accidental fatal shootings a year. That's pretty good for 80 million gun owners."

We're sitting on a bench outside the adobe house with walls two feet thick where Mr. Lee grew up. Dogs are barking, and the sparrows just won't shut up.

"People think we're just out there slayin' rabbits," he says. "But when I grew up, that was food."

He says he did not know how poor he was until he got to high school in the town of Hurricane and the other kids told him. His father, he says, was a Mormon alcoholic. He remembers chicken coops, a root cellar and fetching water from a pump. His mother, now 81, lives in a trailer near the ancestral adobe.

"Does she own any firearms?" I wonder. I've been in Virgin for an hour and have yet to see anyone toting a shotgun, a flintlock, a muzzle-loader, a Colt .45 or a grenade launcher.

"She still has three or four deer rifles that my step-father had when he died," the Mayor replies. "But she'd never be able to find the key to the gun case. She's got dementia so bad, she can hide her own Easter eggs."
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 9:30:17 PM EDT
here's Kennesaw, GA:



Gun Ownership - It's The
Law In Kennesaw
By Jonathan Hamilton and David Burch
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writers

KENNESAW, Ga - Several Kennesaw officials attribute a drop in crime in the city over the past two decades to a law that requires residents to have a gun in the house.

In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.

The ordinance states the gun law is needed to "protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants."

Then-councilman J.O. Stephenson said after the ordinance was passed, everyone "went crazy."

"People all over the country said there would be shootings in the street and violence in homes," he said. "Of course, that wasn't the case."

In fact, according to Stephenson, it caused the crime rate in the city to plunge.

Kennesaw Historical Society president Robert Jones said following the law's passage, the crime rate dropped 89 percent in the city, compared to the modest 10 percent drop statewide.

"It did drop after it was passed," he said. "After it initially dropped, it has stayed at the same low level for the past 16 years."

Mayor Leonard Church was not in office when the law was passed, but he said he is a staunch supporter of it.

"You can't argue with the fact that Kennesaw has the lowest crime rate of any city our size in the country," said Church, who owns a denture-making company in Kennesaw.

The author of the ordinance, local attorney Fred Bentley Sr., attributes at least some of the decrease in crime to the bill.

"I am definitely in favor of what we did," he said. "It may not be totally responsible for the decrease, [but] it is a part."

Although he is pleased with the outcome, Bentley said he was originally opposed to drafting the law.

"I didn't think it could be written in a constitutional fashion," he said. "Obviously, it was constitutional, because the American Civil Liberties Union challenged it in court and we won."

Jones said the ACLU challenged the law in a federal court just after it was passed. In response, the city added a clause adding conscientious objectors to the list of those exempt.

Although the law is now being credited with a drop in crime, Jones said that was not the law's original purpose. He also pointed out that Kennesaw did not have a big problem with crime before.

"The crime rate wasn't that high to start with. It was 11 burglaries per 1,000 residents in 1981," he said.

According to the Kennesaw Police Department, the city's most recent crime statistics show 243 property crimes per 100,000 residents in 1998, or .243 per 1,000.

The city's crime rate continues to be far below other metro Atlanta city's with similar populations, like Decatur. In 1998, Decatur recorded 4,049 property crimes per 100,000 residents.

Jones said one motivation for the council passing the ordinance had to do with publicity.

"It was done in response to a law passed by Morton Grove, Ill., outlawing gun ownership within the city limits," he said. "Several council members were upset Morton Grove had gotten a lot of attention with their ordinance so they decided to top them.

"They figured the gun ownership ordinance would knock that city right off the front pages. They were right."

Jones said the ensuing publicity surrounding the law has given Kennesaw worldwide name recognition.

"I have been to Australia and Europe and when I tell people I am from Kennesaw they recognize the name as the place that requires everyone to own a gun," he said.

But Stephenson said the issue was not publicity-driven but issue-driven.

"We believed in the right of people to own guns," he said.

Jones said he has sold 550 copies of a 1994 book about the first-of-its-kind law, "The Law Heard 'Round the World."

He said the law in its final form has many loopholes, so not everyone is required to own a gun.

"There are many outs," he said. "When you look at it, almost anyone could fit into one of the exempted groups."

Kennesaw Police Chief Dwaine Wilson said no one has ever been prosecuted under the ordinance.

Among those exempt are residents "who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine." Others exempt include the physically and mentally disabled, paupers and those convicted of a felony.

The law contains no clause addressing punishment for violating the law. If convicted, City Clerk Diane Coker said punishment would be determined by the general penalty clause of the Kennesaw Code Ordinance - probably a fine of about $100.

Jones said the unusual law has not deterred anyone from moving to Kennesaw.

"Our population has increased just like everyone's in Georgia in the past 20 years," he said. "The law really hasn't done any harm to the city's growth."

The city's population in 1998 was recorded at 14,493 - a sharp increase over the 8,936 residents recorded in the 1990 census.

Cobb Chamber of Commerce president Bill Cooper said odd laws are typically not counted as strike against a city when a business is looking to relocate.

"These laws don't have laws don't have an impact on a company's decision to move to Cobb County," Cooper said.

"Many communities have strange laws that are out of date. Businesses look at many factors when relocating, such as quality of life, education, infrastructure and available workforce."

Bentley said the law actually may have helped business development.

"Kennesaw is home to more manufacturing businesses than any other Cobb city," he said. "Companies have said they want to be located in conservative areas."

And Kennesaw isn't the only city in Cobb with an unusual law on the books.

According to Jeff Koon, who runs a Web site specializing in funny laws, Dumblaws.com, Acworth has a ordinance requiring residents to own a rake.

In Marietta, it is illegal to spit from a car or a bus, but perfectly legal to spit from a truck.


thanks a lot guys.
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