Former Farragut mayoral candidate pushes for guns in every house

Former Farragut mayoral candidate pushes for guns in every household

Posted:
In a town of roughly 21,000 people, there were around 32 residential burglaries in 2012 and less than 30 violent crimes. In a town of roughly 21,000 people, there were around 32 residential burglaries in 2012 and less than 30 violent crimes.
"This is just nonsense as far as I'm concerned," Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said. "I don't think we have any authority to tell people they must buy a gun." "This is just nonsense as far as I'm concerned," Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said. "I don't think we have any authority to tell people they must buy a gun."
Former mayoral candidate Bill Johns said the ordinance could spur economic growth for the community and bump up property values. Former mayoral candidate Bill Johns said the ordinance could spur economic growth for the community and bump up property values.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

FARRAGUT (WATE) - As gun laws are up for debate across the country, a former mayoral candidate in Farragut is proposing putting a gun in every household.

Bill Johns forwarded the idea in a newspaper editorial for the Farragut Press and said it has support from at least one town leader.

Johns said the proposed ordinance is meant to be symbolic and not an actual attempt to enforce a law that requires every resident to own a gun, but opponents told 6 News it serves no real benefit for the people.

"This is just nonsense as far as I'm concerned," Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said. "I don't think we have any authority to tell people they must buy a gun."

Some Farragut residents said they agreed with McGill, saying they worry such a law would give too much power to lawmakers.

"I think it's up to the individual to choose, instead of up to some government," Farragut resident Helen Northern said.

Johns said the ordinance could spur economic growth for the community and bump up property values.

"The buzz that's being created is putting us on the radar for all the companies that are starting to flee the New England area, Colorado," Johns said.

Johns is a former member of Farragut's Economic and Community Development Committee and a former mayoral candidate.

Johns said the ordinance could also reduce crime, citing low crime rates in Kennesaw, Ga., where a similar law was enacted 30 years ago.

Some Farragut residents told 6 News they also believe the community would be safer.

"I think that would definitely keep the crime rate down and curb any sort of gun violence that is in the area," Farragut resident Marc Cataldi said.

Cataldi said he would also want the ordinance to indicate that people must be properly trained and prepared to own a firearm.

According to the Knox County Sheriff's Office, crime is already considerably low in Farragut.

In a town of roughly 21,000 people, there were around 32 residential burglaries in 2012 and less than 30 violent crimes.

McGill said the ordinance is looking to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

"This proposed ordinance serves no purpose other than to create controversy where there is none," McGill said.

The ordinance hasn't yet been presented to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, but if it is brought to them, it will be voted on twice, needing at least five votes in favor of it in order to pass.

Alderman Dot LaMarche and Alderman Ron Honken said while they support the Second Amendment right to own a gun, they do not support the ordinance.

Alderman Bob Markli is in favor of the proposal.

In an email, Alderman Jeff Elliott said that he supports "Mayor McGill's stance on this position" and had no additional comments.

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