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.


Corker, Menendez Introduce Ukraine Freedom Support Act Of 2014

Senator Bob Corke and Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday introduced the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, legislation that imposes broad sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy, and financial sectors, as well as increases military and non-military assistance for Ukraine. The legislation will be taken up by the Senate ... (click for more)

Tony Bigoms Gets 4 Years For Abuse Of A Corpse

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman on Tuesday added four years to a life prison sentence for Tony Bigoms. Bigoms earlier got the life term for the 2012 dismemberment slaying of Dana Wilkes. The additional term is for abuse of a corpse   Amy Yates, sister of the victim, said, "Why couldn't you stop at killing her? How could you do such an act? This is what our family ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)

Baylor Ends Big Week With Win Over GPS

The Baylor volleyball team probably doesn't get many days off during the week in midseason, but they earned a day off on Tuesday following a long and successful stretch in the last eight days. The Lady Red Raiders, won 10 of 11 matches in the last eight days, including a big win over arch-rival GPS on the road Monday night.  As a result, coach Sarah Lail urged her girls ... (click for more)

UTC's Hudson Named Special Teams Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Tommy Hudson is the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Hudson scored twice in the Mocs 42-6 win at Austin Peay on Saturday .  Hudson returned three punts for 65 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter.  That added to his 33-yard receiving ... (click for more)