The Savage Truth: Mayoral call to arms
Seldom does Warner Robins keep pace with Macon's homicide rate.
Instead, International City officials take pride in pointing out such things as its superb educational system, outstanding civic clubs, excellent job opportunities and lower than average crime rate.
But three homicides in a couple of weeks have Mayor Randy Toms frustrated and calling on citizens to arm themselves.
"We need to stand up for our city and let those criminal-minded individuals know that we will fight for the safety of our community and the safety of our families, and we're serious about it," Toms said during a recent news conference.
Appearing almost ready to burst into tears, Toms also urged residents to obtain weapons carry permits and enroll in the police departments firearms safety training program.
So what requirements must be meet for Warner Robins residents to obtain Georgia Weapons Carry Licenses?
Georgia law says a carry license applicant must be at least 21 years old unless the person meets the following exceptions:
The person must be at least 18 years old and have proof that he or she has completed basic training in the armed forces of the United States. Other exceptions include people who have proof that they are actively serving in the armed forces or have been honorably discharged from military service.
People seeking carry permits must live in the county where they're applying for the license. They must apply at the Probate Court office. If they're not citizens of the United States, they must provide proof that they are in the country legally.
Naturalized citizens must provide naturalization certificates along with their original Immigration and Naturalization Service number. People born outside the United States must show a certified birth certificate or passport that shows the country of birth.
They must have picture identification and proof that they reside in the county where they are seeking the license. The person can't be on probation for any offense, and he or she must be fingerprinted and submit to a criminal and mental health records check.
Non-citizens must allow an Immigrant Alien Inquiry through the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Licenses won't be issued to anyone that has legal disqualifications.
The original weapons carry application fee is $72.50.
In a few weeks, we'll know if the number applications for weapons carry licenses have increased at the Houston County Probate Court office.