As a locally elected official, I do not get to have a Constitutional discussion about firearms - that is for Congress and the Supreme Court to debate. However, local government does play a role in protecting both a law abiding citizen's right to bear arms, as well as, protecting the general public from those who choose to abuse this same right either through negligence or through illegally obtaining a firearm. Based on this role, I think it is important for us to have open dialogue about firearms, firearm safety and a comprehensive educational program.
We need to increase the access our citizens have to exervising their right to bear arms. Owning a firearm is only part of being a responsible owner. The other part is ensuring you are using that firearm so that you are able to operate that firearm should the need ever arise. As our county becomes more densely populated, state law regulates who can and cannot operate their firearms on their property, which is based on size and proximity to major roadways. I would like to see the county activiely working to bring a larger firing range to the county that will provide our residents with the ability to not only personal handguns but to fire a variety of weapons of all seizes. There are a number of public-private partnership opportunities that we could use to help this facility provide a service to the community without being cost prohibitive.
Every American is born with the right to bear arms. Through their own actions, they can lose this right, however, every American is born with this right. While there are many families who raise their children with basic firearm education, there are many others who do not. As a person who does not own a firearm, I believer basic firearm safety should be part of a public education program. The program could be as basic as telling a kindergartener (like mine) that "guns are not toys" and "do not touch them without an adult" or as comprehensive as using our local experts to teach our older children (with the parent's permission) to safely clean and operate a firearm. There are great learning tools available on the internet that I have adopted in my own home.
Learning about a Rifle