Canton mayor to address new gun law's effects
by Joshua Sharpe
May 01, 2014 04:00 AM | 2823 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood plans to start a discussion during the City Council’s work session tonight on what effects Canton will feel from statewide gun legislation signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal last week.<br>Staff/File
Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood plans to start a discussion during the City Council’s work session tonight on what effects Canton will feel from statewide gun legislation signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal last week.
Staff/File
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CANTON — Mayor Gene Hobgood plans to start a discussion during the City Council’s work session tonight on what effects Canton will feel from statewide gun legislation signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal last week.

The Safe Carry Protection Act takes effect July 1 and, in addition to letting bars and churches allow guns inside, it also makes it legal for licensed gun carriers to take their weapons into government buildings that don’t screen for guns at entrances.

Hobgood said he has asked City Attorney Bobby Dyer to research the inner workings of the law to determine what it will mean for Canton City Hall.

The mayor said he’s worried by the legislation, because the city will have to add security measures for guns to be banned in the building, measures likely to cost money.

“I think we can restrict guns in City Hall, but it’s going to cost us more than it has been,” Hobgood said.

Today, people going into City Hall are only screened for guns at the entrance to the municipal courtroom when court is in session.

For Hobgood, simply allowing guns in the building isn’t likely an option. The mayor said he would be opposed to such an idea.

“I don’t know too many people who are opposed to ownership of firearms. I do think, in government buildings, they should not be allowed, particularly in areas where there are contro-versial things being discussed,” Hobgood said.

One contro-versial area at Canton City Hall could be the council chambers, where the City Council and Canton Planning Commission meet and heated debates regularly come up.

“A lot of people are already mad when they get there,” the mayor said.

Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), who was a signer on the bill, agreed the law might equal extra costs for some local governments that don’t already have secured buildings.

But she said she doesn’t understand the “fear mongering” regarding the bill, which says allowing the weapons would be dangerous, because governments that don’t have secure buildings had no way of keeping “bad guys” out before. The security measures they’ll have to add would likely increase security, she said.

Ballinger added the law was meant to protect the rights of law-abiding residents who choose to carry guns. She said that is being misunderstood in many cases.

“Everybody thinks guns are going to be sprouting from everybody’s ears,” she said. “I just don’t get it. I really don’t.”

Also during the meeting, the council will:

• Discuss awarding and executing a contract with Allied Paving Contractors Inc. for the 2014 LMIG Street Repair;

• Discuss the city employee YMCA membership benefit;

• Discuss waste removal contract options;

• Discuss a service fee for water and sanitation credit card payments;

• Discuss the waste water treatment plant renovations design in terms of quality assurance and control and a mandate for American steel to be used; and

• Discuss management of Canton Paw Park, which some have suggested the city should take over.

Comments
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Joseph Ragsdale
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May 17, 2014
I am now going to see to it that the mayor will lose his reelection.
Marco445
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May 01, 2014
Wasn't City Hall 'unsafe' before passing HB 60? How is it more unsafe now? If a person was intent on using a firearm to commit a violent act in the building before, I don't think that the fact that state law prohibited carrying of a firearm in the building would be a sufficient motivator to not commit the act? What is one more felony if you're determined to do something stupid like go shooting people?
RamRoddoc
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May 01, 2014
Why yes they were. In fact just as defenseless as the Fed Ex employees and the "security guard" who was unarmed. It's a gun free zone you know....

Many folks are awakening to B.S. gun restrictions/prohibitions and those who support it are concerned about "feeling safe"
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