Gun Requirement Ordinance

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.

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