Chatham Co. Commission discusses gun violence

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - As Chatham County continues the battle against gun violence, County Commissioners are hoping a new resolution will bring awareness to the on-going issue.

Some commissioners say the resolution sparks conversation but others expressed concerns.

The resolution the Chatham County commission took up today does not change any rules for citizens of Chatham. It amounts to a letter asking the federal government to work with local governments to do more to stop gun crimes.

Commissioner Helen Stone said the resolution, which is part of a campaign by the National Association of Counties, is not meant to target all gun owners but instead to bring awareness to the rising problem of gun violence.

While Commissioner Aaron “Adot” Whitley was in favor.

“We can look at it as just one cut and dry thing but there’s so many different aspects or factors of gun violence and I believe that this actual resolution is just say that we recognize that,” said District 6 Commissioner Whitely.

Commissioner Dean Kicklighter is concerned the resolution is too divisive and voted against it.

“It was made political with the word firearm and I don’t see where the local government needs brought in to a hot button Washington, DC political hot topic that they use to divide our country,” said District 7 Commissioner Kicklighter.

Chairman Chester Ellis voted for the resolution and says the commission continues talks with judges and prosecutors to find solutions to not just gun crimes, but all violence.

“Why do a 16 year old feel the need in Chatham County or in the United States to carry a gun that ultimately hurts an infant. To change folks minds to make them feel safer in what ever environment, that’s apart of the resolution. It’s not political,” said County Chairman Chester Ellis.

The resolution passed 6 to 2 with Commissioners Kicklighter and Kenneth Adams in dissent. Commissioner Patrick Farrell was absent.