City gun ordinance review requested by Natchez alderwoman

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, February 28, 2018


NATCHEZ — A Natchez alderwoman Tuesday called for a review of city ordinances in light of the recent deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

“I am requesting that the public safety committee review the ordinances of the City of Natchez in regards to backgrounds checks,” Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis said. “What do we require (and) are the requirements strict enough for public safety?”

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Arceneaux-Mathis said not only the incident in Florida, but also two that occurred right here in Natchez should spur on an examination of the current circumstances in Natchez. She referred to both an alleged threat of violence made by at least one student against a staff member of Cathedral School and a report of a gun-related threat made at Natchez High School, both of which occurred earlier this month.

No violence was carried out in either case. Police have not reported any progress on the Cathedral investigation, and sheriff’s deputies reported that no guns were found at NHS’s campus despite confirming that a threat involving a gun was made.

Arceneaux-Mathis said she believes the community must come together to ensure the safety of its youth, singling out Natchez High School.

“If we close our eyes and think of Natchez High School as it was in 1987, would we be in court around correcting a dangerous situation and providing all students with a safe and secure environment in which to learn,” she said.

Arceneaux-Mathis has been an ardent supporter of constructing a new public high school to replace what she believes to be an insecure Natchez High School, especially, she said, the number of violent acts seen in schools in today’s climate.

Natchez High School’s security has been called into question since it sits on a high-traffic highway and the school is made up of a number of smaller buildings that are open from all sides.