Farragut man wants "symbolic" gun law, requiring all homeowners to own guns

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FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Bill Johns, a businessman and former mayoral candidate, wants what he calls a "symbolic" gun ordinance in Farragut, a law which would require all homeowners to own a gun. He said it would be good for the town, since it doesn't have its own police force.

"It's gonna help reduce crime because if the word is out, that gives opportunity for people to go and do bad deeds elsewhere," said Johns.

Mayor Ralph McGill is appalled by the idea.

"People have the right to maintain firearms, simple as that. If you want to buy them, you can buy them. Why we have to tell people to own guns - I don't know. And it's not going to solve crime because we don't have much to begin with - this is ridiculous," said McGill.

But Johns said if the law is modeled after a similar one in Kennesaw, Georgia, it wouldn't be enforced.

"It wouldn't affect anybody - those who already have firearms in their homes are in compliance and those who don't are also in compliance because they opt out," said Johns.

"I think it's a waste of government time to pass it because he's already saying they're not going to enforce it, so why even bother?" said Ron Englert, who lives in Farragut.

According to Johns, the symbolic gun law would be a marketing tool to increase property values and attract gun, knife and outdoor businesses to the state, while helping make the town even safer than it already is.

Alderman Bob Markli said he supports the idea and would vote in favor of the ordinance, although it hasn't been officially proposed yet.

Mayor McGill said he doubts the idea will get enough support from the other Aldermen to become an ordinance.

Johns said the law has been on the books in Kennesaw, an Atlanta suburb, for 30 years. He said he believes it's helped make the town successful. Kennesaw was voted one of the nation's 10 best towns for families in 2008 by Family Circle magazine.

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