City should capitalize on gun ordinance

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 6, 2018

After a Natchez alderman prompted a cursory review of the city’s existing gun laws, only a single one could be found.

The law prohibits the discharge of a firearm inside the city limits without special permission — military funerals and the like.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis’ aim appeared to be more focused on possible restrictions to the sale of firearms as she made the request for the review while referencing the deadly shooting at a Florida high school last month.

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Her review, however, inadvertently points out a problem the city should consider quickly fixing.

Does the city ever prosecute people for discharging firearms in the city limits?

The law may have been made as a way of discouraging the neighborhood children from grabbing their father’s shotgun and indiscriminately firing at backyard squirrels and ultimately harming one of their two-legged neighbors in the process.

But what prevents the city from pursuing a high fine against anyone who fires a gun in the city limits?

Case after case of criminal shootings have occurred in which the suspect admits in court to firing a gun in the city limits, but to our recollection no one is ever charged by the city.

Granted, the matter is usually small in comparison to the criminal proceedings in which the admission of shooting is often made, but the city should seriously consider increasing the fine and taking a hard stand against the violation. Otherwise, the city may as well simply remove the ordinance prohibiting the practice.