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.


New Hiener Book Of Historic Chattanooga Photos Available At Zarzours

The new Paul Hiener Historic Chattanooga Photos book published by Chattanoogan.com is available at Zarzours Restaurant. Zarzours is located on the Southside on Rossville Avenue behind the Main Street Fire Hall #1. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer and lifelong resident, collected over 3,000 historic pictures of his beloved hometown. He made some of the photos ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BLANKENBECKLEY, KRISTA JOY  6004 WHHELWORTH AVE EAST RIDGE, 37412  Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge METHAMPHETAMINE FOR RESALE MARIJUANA FOR RESALE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA --- BOLEMAN, HANNAH LEIGH  9317 HOPITRAIL OOLTEWAH, 37363  Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)

Mississippi State Quarterback Nick Tiano To Play At UTC

Former Baylor School quarterback Nick Tiano announced Monday that he is transferring from Mississippi State to UTC. He tweeted, "I'm very excited to announce that I am going back home to play for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga! # GoMoc" Tiano had announced five days ago that he was leaving the Bulldogs after his freshman year. Tiano appeared in four ... (click for more)

Jones Will "Thoroughly Examine Everything In UT Program"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach  and seniors Joshua Dobbs and LaTroy Lewis met with reporters on Monday in their first press conference for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Unranked Tennessee (8-4) will play Nebraska (9-3) in the Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium. The game will feature a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN. The Cornhuskers are No. 21 in the ... (click for more)