It was a close call, but the small northern Georgia city of Nelson won’t be forcing its residents to own guns after all.The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced Thursday that it had settled its lawsuit against the city’s mandatory gun ownership ordinance. As part of the settlement, which Nelson’s City Council approved with a 5-0 vote on Tuesday, the city will amend the ordinance to say that the U.S. constitution “protects the rights of Americans to choose not to own or maintain a gun in their homes.” The amended ordinance will also state that the gun ordinance is not enforceable and there will be no penalties for violations.
The ordinance, known as the Family Protection Ordinance, passed on April 1. It required all heads of household residing within the city limits to own a firearm and ammunition — the only exceptions being those who “suffer from a physical or mental disability,” “paupers,” felons, or those who “conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine.”
Named after John Nelson, a landowner, farmer, and rifle maker, the city is home to 1,317 residents.
“I am glad an acceptable solution has been reached and feel that those Nelson residents that wish to keep home protection a private matter will be pleased with this outcome,” Lamar Kellett, a Nelson resident and Brady Center member, said in a statement issued by the center.