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.


Thomas Hughes Sought After Nearly Hitting 2 Sheriff's Deputies While Driving Stolen Vehicle

Sheriff's deputies were called to 8903 Bramlett Road on Friday at approximately  12 p.m.  after receiving a report of a stolen vehicle that could be found at that address.  On arrival at the residence, deputies located an individual identified as Thomas Hughes. When he noticed the deputies, he entered the vehicle he had been working on in an effort to flee. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Ice On The Landing And The Lighted Boat Parade

Ice on the Landing and the Lighted Boat Parade brought crowds to the riverfront on Friday night (click for more)

Policeman: Modern Day "Boogie Man"

As a child I was under the impression that a ghastly, grotesque creature had taken up residence in my bedroom closet, the proverbial “Boogie Man” I suppose.  This is not an uncommon thing among children and most likely to some fault of my own as I subjected myself to some pretty iconic 1980’s horror flicks. There were other kids in the neighborhood that not only claimed to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Falls To Alcoa 28-19

The Notre Dame football team lost to Alcoa 28-19 Friday night in the Class 3A state semifinal game played on Finley Stadium. Alcoa led 21-13 at the half.  No teams would score in the third quarter.  Notre Dame turned the ball over several times in the second half. Full story to follow... (click for more)

UTC Men Defeat Coastal Carolina,78-67

UTC’s Ronrico White is use to pre-game shoot arounds, but Wednesday’s “almost midnight madness practice” 14 hours prior to tipoff against Coastal Carolina was out of the ordinary but highly effective. “My shooting touch was off (2 for 14 in the last three games) so Coach Wes Long called a shoot around for late last night and we made some adjustments in my technique and it paid ... (click for more)