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.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALLARD, ANTHONY MONTREL     2401 S CHAMBERLAIN AVE.#2 CHATTANOOGA, 37404     27     Chattanooga          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DOMESTIC ASSAULT) BEAN, BO     HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA,     42    ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns Senior-Night Soccer Victory

Honoring the team’s nine seniors was a focus of Tuesday night’s girls’ soccer match at Notre Dame, but it wasn’t the top priority for the Lady Irish. They knew that a win over visiting Signal Mountain would secure a first-place finish in District 7-AA, and their mission was to earn it. Notre Dame did just that, making Emma Higgins’ early goal stand for a ... (click for more)

UTC Men's Hoops: Brooks Savage, Alex Wharton Promoted

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball program is promoting two staffers, pending University approval, coach Will Wade announced Tuesday. Brooks Savage and Alex Wharton are moving into new roles in the wake of assistant coach Turner Battle leaving to take a similar position at UAB. Savage takes Battle’s place as a full-time assistant after ... (click for more)