Several Citizens Criticize Bradley County Insurance Policy Limiting The Carrying Of Firearms

Monday, February 10, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Several Bradley County citizens on Monday spoke out against a county insurance policy stating that county employees who are not law enforcement personnel will not be covered if they carry a firearm, even if they have a handgun permit.


Vice Chairman Adam Lowe said he understood the policy for employees who drove county vehicles, but he questioned its fairness for employees who drove their personal vehicles and kept firearms there.


He said, "I think it's reasonable to say if you're in a county vehicle that's county property." But he gave an example of several teachers who had to drive out of town for a work conference. He said technically they were on the county's time, but they were using their own vehicles and had their legally-owned gun in the car for protection.


He asked, "So our insurance company does not recognize the permit the state says allows someone to legally carry a firearm?"


He said that though he could "appreciate the concern of the insurance company," he was concerned this policy infringed upon personal rights.


Commissioner Terry Caywood agreed and gave another example, describing a friend and county employee who carried a small handgun in her purse because she worked late hours.


County Mayor Gary Davis said there was a process where an employee could be granted an exception to this policy by applying through the Sheriff's office. However, there were concerns that this could be political and slow.


After their discussion, a Bradley County man told the commissioners he felt the policy was "blatantly discriminating." He said, "Your county employees don't check their constitutional rights at the door when they go to work for the county."


He also told the Commission, "You have women that work for you all that have restraining orders against abusive spouses, boyfriends, or stalkers." He said this policy would force them to go unprotected.


Cleveland business owner Dan Rawls also spoke against the policy, calling it "ridiculous." He said, "The firearm training that my wife and I had was superior to what the police department went through."


Commissioner Jeff Yarber said "We need to remember, we don't work for the insurance company, the insurance company works for us."


Vice Chairman Lowe said the problem went back to the perception that lawful gun owners were a safety risk, saying there was no evidence to back this up. He said, "We're dealing with a third party that has a distorted perception."


He told everyone he would look into the issue more before the next session.


The Commission also addressed the issue of the numerous unpaved county roads. Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said many roads built before 1986 had still not been paved or updated.


She said she believed it was the responsibility of the Commission to fix this problem. Commissioner Terry Caywood said he believed the road superintendant had essentially given up on the issue.

Latest County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHFORD, LARRY  3718 JUANDALE TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 64 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga GAMBLING PROMOTION GAMBLING DEVICES --- BATTLE, FREDRICK LAMAR  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Hakeem). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: FINANCE a. An ordinance to amend Ordinance No. 12953 known as “the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget Ordinance” so as to appropriate $11,530.17 from the ... (click for more)

We Can Do Something About Mass Shootings - And Response

A friend posted his observation this morning that there was paranoia about reasonable gun laws. I know his heart is saying we have to do something about these mass shootings. Then while scanning the morning news shows I watched a pile o’ pundits from Al Sharpton to Donald Trump pontificate on doing “something” about the problem. Personally, I think there are plenty of gun control ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20