A Mt. Juliet city commissioner plans to introduce legislation that would allow city employees to carry concealed, permitted handguns.
District 3 Commissioner Art Giles will present an ordinance to change the employee handbook to include this at the July 22 city commission meeting.
He said the impetus for his request to allow employees to carry permitted, concealed handguns came after a mass shooting in municipal buildings at Virginia Beach, Virginia last May.
Twelve people were murdered and four others injured in the slaughter at city offices there. The shooter, city employee DeWayne Craddock was killed by police in a shootout that Friday, May 31 on city property.
Giles said he believes if employees were armed, they could have protected themselves against the gunman and fellow employee.
“It’s about their [employees’] right to fulfill their God given right to protect themselves,” said Giles “To give them a sense of safety.”
Giles first introduced the same ordinance in 2013.
“I pulled it because there was too much negative response from TML [city insurance entity],” said Giles.
Already, employees have the right to have gun protection in their car trunks, which is out of reach in case of a mass shooter.
“You have to possess a legal hand gun permit, which requires training to obtain,” Giles said.
Giles said aspects of his legislature might change when it gets to the commission table.
“There has been no reluctance from our city employees about this to me,” said Giles. “No employee has called me to say they don’t want this. It’s all been positive and they appreciate it so much.”
He said it’s all about them “taking care of their own.”
Obviously, the city’s police officers and reserve officers carry weapons on city property while on duty. This would include city and planning commissioners as they are paid city employees, said Giles.
Recently, this ordinance was on the city commission agenda and Giles pulled it “to make sure the wordage was correct.”
He noted the current police station is situated near Charlie Daniels Park, away from official city offices.
“We just have scattered offices,” he noted.