Reported By Chris Bundgaard, Reporter - bio | email
MT. JULIET, Tenn. -
The long hot summer issue of Mt. Juliet city workers carrying guns was deferred in a meeting Monday night.
Worries about 'round-the-clock employee safety in dark city parking lots and a deadly town council shooting earlier this year in Pennsylvania led commissioners to originally pass a controversial guns proposal on a first reading in early August.
The proposal would have allowed Mt. Juliet's 120 city employees to have a weapon in the workplace if they have a properly registered carry permit filed with the city, but issues were raised about liability and how the city insurance on its employees would be affected.
That led to an August 26 meeting where the commission amended the ordinance to change its original intent.
The amended ordinance would allow Mt. Juliet employees with valid gun permits to leave a firearm in their vehicles if it is parked on city property, and secured out of sight in places like a trunk or glove compartment.
The ordinance easily passed the Mt. Juliet Commission 4-1 and a similar outcome was expected Monday Vice-Mayor James Maness told News 2 earlier in the day.
In looking back, Maness said, "We realize there would be some concern about it, but not the kind of attention it got. At City Hall, the employees are pretty much the only ones who are required to be disarmed."
As for the city insurance issues, Vice-Mayor Maness told News 2, "We never really got a straight answer, but its always a concern about what kind of burden you would put on the taxpayer to do this."
Maness estimated that only about four-to-seven city workers would be affected by the amended ordinance.
He said people forget that almost half of Mt. Juliet's city workers already carry weapons because they are sworn police officers.
The issue will be discussed again on September 23.