Gun Control Debate: Nucla, Colorado May Make Every Resident Buy a Gun

With the outbreak of mass shootings sweeping the U.S. in the last year, the NRA and Obama have been in a fueled battle regarding gun reform with recent news on how Senate voted to defeat the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which allows universal background checks on gun purchases. Despite the outcry of victims of shootings and advocates for gun control, a new ordinance is underway that requires residents to bear firearms. With a population of about 1,000 residents, Nucla, Colo., wishes to pass an ordinance making gun ownership mandatory — with certain exceptions, according to the Denver Post.

Following in the footsteps of another small town in Georgia, the residents of Nelson voted to make gun ownership mandatory back in April. Under the Family Protection Act, “the measure requires every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to provide for the emergency management of the city and to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants,” according to the Huffington Post.

In Nucla, Colo., the new ordinance does have exceptions for those who cannot or do not want to own a gun. Pro tem mayor, Richard Craig stated, “Every head of the household residing in town limits is required to maintain a firearm together with ammunition thereafter. Criminals are put on notice, period. We are armed,” reported to KREX-TV. He further states this is a “symbolic gesture” relating to the ongoing dispute of the Second Amendment.

What are the political and social ramifications of such an ordinance in relation to public safety? Although exceptions are incorporated within the new ordinance, how serious are these legal proceedings in protecting the public from unlawful gun owners? With the Senate rejecting universal background checks on gun purchases, how can citizens be certain, on a local level, whether their city is protected against unauthorized gun purchasers? Another point to consider is whether it’s ethical for an ordinance to be executed in mandating citizens to purchase weaponry.

Is this local ordinance focused on protecting citizens or is it a form of social and political control? Further research is required on how the new ordinance plans on implementing the "exceptions" in order to ensure protection of local citizens before requiring residents to bear arms.