Mt. Juliet City Employees Could Soon Carry Guns At Work - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mt. Juliet City Employees Could Soon Carry Guns At Work

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by Chris Cannon

MT. JULIET, Tenn. - City commissioners in Mt. Juliet passed an ordinance that would allow employees with valid carry permits to bring a gun onto city property.

It was the ordinance's first reading. 

The ordinance would permit all city employees to have a gun on their person while performing their city duties.

"Anytime that you can get in here, as government body, and remove any barriers to people's rights to self protection, and self defense, I think that's a good thing," said Mt. Juliet Vice Mayor James Maness.

He was one of four commissioners who voted in favor of the ordinance. The proposal started out to allow guns in parking lots, and was then amended to allow city managers to carry guns, and eventually was changed to allow all employees with a valid permit to bring a gun to work.

"We're not granting anyone extra rights, we're just choosing not to deny them the rights they already have," Maness said.

The ordinance raised red flags for Commissioner Jim Bradshaw, the lone no vote against the ordinance.

"I was just really, totally shocked the other night the way this ordinance started out and got turned and twisted," Bradshaw explained.

Bradshaw said his opposition has nothing to do with the right to carry a gun. He just does not feel it is sound policy to allow employees to carry guns while they are working.

"I don't want to look like I have to carry a weapon to go to work. I'm not in that role, I'm not in the police officer role, or security role," said Bradshaw.

The vice mayor said he would also like to give Mt. Juliet residents the right to bring a handgun into city hall.

"That's what I would like, to open it up to regular citizens to be able, so when they come on property they don't have to worry about violating any city ordinances, or state laws, as well," Maness said.

There were several issues that have to be worked out before it becomes law. City leaders have consulted the city's insurance company to see how the ordinance would impact the city's coverage.

If the ordinance is passed, employees would be required to file a copy of their handgun carry permit with the city's human resources department.

The second reading for the ordinance was scheduled for August 26.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ChrisCannon
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