A Town In Georgia Requires All Residents To Own A Gun. Can You Guess The Crime Rate?

Updated March 11, 2018

The Georgia town of Kennesaw requires their residents to own a gun. The town also has only had one murder in six years and the rate of violent crimes in the area is less than two percent. Does any of it have to do with gun ownership though? According to a report from CNN, Kennesaw, Georgia adopted an ordinance in 1982 that required the head of every household to “maintain a firearm.”

Kennesaw Police Department Lt. Craig Graydon noted: “It was meant to be kind of a crime deterrent.”

Mayor Derek Easterling further explained: “If you’re going to commit a crime in Kennesaw and you’re the criminal — are you going to take a chance that that homeowner is a law-abiding citizen?”

Many people weighed in with comments on social media, with one person noting that “It’s an affluent community…They also have a much lower than average high school drop out rate, and a higher than average amount of people with a secondary education. Educated wealthy people tend to commit less crimes than impoverished under-educated people. I doubt guns have much to do with the crime rate.”

Others spoke about the intent of the law, with one person noting: “Kennesaw passed the law late 70’s early eighties due to a small police force and a large area to police. If I remember the news story correctly some home break-ins were happening and the sheriff got in front of the microphone, made the announcement and the break-ins dropped dramatically. Law was never enforced but criminals knew there was a 50/50 chance of being shot.”

Others spoke to how this law could indeed be a powerful deterrent, with comments like: “If I were a criminal I would think twice about trying to rob a house I knew had guns… Duh, that’s just common sense…” and “Think about it, if you are a bad guy but know there is a chance the house you break in to is armed, probably will not pick that one.”

Another commenter, however, explained: “It’s a swing set law. It’s not enforced, it is just a political statement. With that said, it is a nice place, low crime rate, high gun ownership rate.”

One commenter echoed this, writing: “Owning a gun in Kenesaw is not mandatory; the law was ‘symbolic’ as town officials repeatedly explain. Gun ownership and crime rates are pretty much the same as similar towns in Georgia. So the conclusion you’re drawing is?”

Still another person shared their own personal perspective as a town resident, writing: “I live here. It is the law and our rates of crime are very low. We have the 2nd best education system ranked in Georgia to John’s Creek.” Another person shared: “I grew up in Kennesaw, GA and it was as safe a place as you could find anywhere in the world. Proud of my hometown.”

One commenter who was a resident shared this perspective: “I lived in Kennesaw for 10 years. Never owned a gun. Law was a statement by politicians. Never enforced. Crime and drug use is high. High school festering with drugs and gangs.”