There’s one town in America where the law actually requires its citizens to “maintain a firearm”. And guess what? The violent crime rate is extremely low, at less than 2%.
FOX 8 – As the debate over guns continues in Washington and in communities across the country, there’s at least one place where owning a gun is technically required by law.
In Kennesaw, Georgia, local law says that “every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm.”
“If you’re going to commit a crime in Kennesaw and you’re the criminal — are you going to take a chance that that homeowner is a law-abiding citizen?” asked Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling.
Wayne Arnold is one of those citizens. Among the weapons he keeps at home are an AR-15-style .223 caliber rifle, a variety of handguns and more.
“It gives me the ability to protect myself as opposed to being somewhere where you weren’t allowed to have a firearm or it was frowned upon,” said Arnold.
It may be the law in Kennesaw to own a gun, but the police department says it isn’t actually enforced.
I’m sure it isn’t enforced, as it would probably be unconstitutional. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the town gets targeted in a lawsuit because of all the press.
Here’s how the law came into being:
Many locals CNN spoke to assumed that the law dated back to the town’s founding, but it was actually only enacted in 1982. “It was meant to be kind of a crime deterrent,” said Lt. Craig Graydon, who’s been with the Kennesaw Police Department for over 30 years. “It was also more or less a political statement because the city of Morton Grove, Illinois, passed a city ordinance banning handguns from their city limits.”
Back then, the town had a population of just a few thousand. Over three decades later, the law is still on the books.
The violent crime rate in Kennesaw is very low, especially considering the town has grown over 10x its size when the law was enacted.
Today, Kennesaw, a town of about 33,000 people, has had one murder in the last six years and a violent crime rate of below 2%.
City officials say their relationship with the community is a key factor in maintaining public safety. “We can’t say that just that gun law contributes x number of percent to why we have a low crime rate. It may be part of it, but it needs to be looked at from a whole picture,” said Graydon. “Don’t just look at the ordinance.”
I’m sure there are several factors that go into a super low crime rate, but I’d like of it more like the Mayor suggested: “If you’re going to commit a crime in Kennesaw and you’re the criminal — are you going to take a chance that that homeowner is a law-abiding citizen?”
Exactly. When a criminal knows that there’s a big chance they might end up dead, the risk/reward of a robbery or other crime now doesn’t looks so good.