Gun Requirement Ordinance

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, December 31 2012 at 4:43 PM, Updated: Mon, December 31 2012 at 4:59 PM

While many communities are calling for tighter gun control laws, there's a town in Klamath County that requires the head of the household to own a firearm.

It's now been more than 30 years since Chiloquin adopted an ordinance requiring the head of household to maintain a firearm, and ammunition.

The law was passed to 'provide the safety and security of the city', and Chiloquin City Council member Floyd Hescock thinks it's a good thing...

"Nobody's killed anybody in town, so I guess it's working."

Not everyone agrees with the ordinance.

"I don't think we have to have guns to protect ourselves."  Says Joan Wayland of Klamath Falls.  "In fact, the evidence that I'm aware of is that having a gun in an altercation increases the risk of someone getting seriously hurt, or killed."

The ordinance doesn't specify penalties for heads of households who fail to own a weapon.  However, exemptions are made for the physically disabled, those who may object to weapons due to conscientious objector status, or those who have been previously convicted of a felony.

Chiloquin City Recorder Teresa Foreman points out that most homes already have a gun...

"Our small community is a hunting community anyway, and most everybody has guns, without the ordinance.  And people know that people have guns."

Floyd Hescock thinks that arming law-abiding citizens will help to reduce crime...

"If the criminals didn't have the guns, we wouldn't need them."

The ordinance in Chiloquin was passed the same year a similar law was passed in Kennesaw, Georgia.  Kennesaw city officials claim the law has reduced crime by 89 percent.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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