City Won’t Enforce ‘Must Own’ Gun Ordinance
(GunNews.com) — The City of Nelson, Georgia has agreed to settle a Brady Center lawsuit against the City’s mandatory gun ownership ordinance.
Under the settlement, which the City Council unanimously approved, the City will amend the ordinance to say that the gun ownership mandate cannot be enforced and that there will be no penalties for non-compliance.
The ordinance as originally enacted on April 1, 2013 required all heads of households in Nelson, with certain exceptions, to own a working firearm and ammunition.
The Brady Center brought suit against the City on May 16, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, arguing that the ordinance violated the First, Second, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The suit was filed on behalf of a member of the Brady Center, who faced a $1,000 fine for non-compliance with the city rule.
Lamar Kellett, a Nelson resident and Brady Center member who opposed the ordinance, said, “I am glad an acceptable solution has been reached and feel that those Nelson residents that wish to keep home protection a private matter will be pleased with this outcome.”
The Nelson City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 to accept the settlement terms and add a clause to the Family Protection Ordinance, codified at Section 38-6, Chapter 38, Article I of the Code of the City of Nelson.
The amendment will say that the existing terms of ordinance “are not enforceable and shall never be enforced and no disability, penalty or adverse consequence shall attach to any violation thereof” because “the Constitution protects the rights of Americans to choose not to own or maintain a gun in their homes.”