SABATTUS, Maine — Retiree David Marsters says there ought to be a law which mandates every Sabattus head of household to own a gun.
He’s not joking.
If each Sabattus home had a gun, “it would provide and protect safety of the city,” Marsters said.
When the selectmen meet Tuesday, March 5, they will hear his proposal on how to reduce crime — the same way a Georgia town did.
“I’ve been reading about a Georgia town, Kennesaw,” Marsters said during a phone interview Monday. “Since 1982, they’ve had an ordinance requiring all homeowners shall be armed and ready to go at all times,” Marsters said. Since they mandated every home have a gun, “their crime rate went down.”
Marsters is right about the gun law in Kennesaw, a city not far from Atlanta.
On Kennesaw’s website, the city brags about “The Gun Law.” The Georgia city made headlines after May 1, 1982, “when the city unanimously passed a law requiring every head of household to maintain a firearm together with ammunition,” the website reads. “After passage of the law, the burglary rate in Kennesaw declined, and even today, the city has the lowest crime rate in Cobb County.”
According to Marsters, felons, those with a history of mental illness and those whose religion would prohibit gun use would be exempt. He acknowledged “there’s not that much crime rate in Sabattus,” but if word spread that every home had guns, robbers would stay away out of town.
Marsters, 68, is a retired police officer from Malden, Mass. He’s a father, a grandfather, and is involved in his local politics, serving on several committees.
When he first moved to Sabattus three years ago, there were some nearby break-ins, he said. He took action. “I threatened neighbors,” households with adults who were “druggies,” he said. “I forced certain kids to move.” That helped end robberies, he said.
When asked about those calling for more gun control and fewer guns after Sandy Hook, Marsters chuckled. He insisted more guns don’t bring more violence. Sandy Hook “is being used for political games,” he said. The Second Amendment and other rights are being threatened. “If people don’t smarten up,” rights like reporters covering the news will be taken away, Marsters said.
Marsters is hoping his proposal will be accepted by selectmen and placed on the town warrant for citizens to decide at the annual June town meeting.
Town officials, however, are predicting the proposal will be shot down.
Town Manager Andrew Gilmore agreed. “Compelling someone to own a gun is a new one to me in post-Colonial times,” said Gilmore, predicting selectmen will not support the proposal.
Individuals ought to “have a right to choose not to own a gun,” he said, adding that more guns could attract criminals to Sabattus.
Since a New York newspaper went public with which local households had concealed gun permits, there have been more robberies, Gilmore said.
“If we announced to rest of world every home in Sabattus had a weapon, it would be easy pickings. I’m not sure if law is constitutional.”
Police Chief Anthony Ward agreed. The Second Amendment provides a right for gun ownership, Ward said, but residents “shouldn’t be dictated by government to have weapons. Some people are not comfortable with them,” Ward said. “It would make an unsafe environment.”
He is opposed, he said.
The selectmen’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.