by Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ.com
- A city law from 1957 says every gun sale must be reported to the police chief.
- Since the police chief just learned of it, the obscure law has lightly enforced.
- The former Houston County district attorney wants to have the law stricken from the books.
If you sell a gun in Warner Robins, the law says you need to report that to the police chief.
While you're at it, tell him your name, race and age, too.
The ordinance has been on the books since 1957, but as it turns out, the police chief didn't even know that until last month.
Former Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke brought the obscure law to light. Now, he and a couple hundred other people want it removed from city code.
Jesse White, a salesman at EZ Pawn in Warner Robins, says he knows the law when it comes to buying and selling guns.
White said, "Oh,yes. We go through ATF forums. They come in and teach classes to us. So, we know every law were supposed to know to sell a firearm."
But we stumped him when it came to Section 13-47, labled "firearms dealers" in the city code.
We showed him a copy of the ordinance and asked if he had ever seen it.
White said he had not, and had never been told to follow it.
He said, "I've never been addressed to fill out paperwork and send it to our local law enforcement agency, every single time I sell a weapon."
Burke considers it a good thing it's not enforced.
A gun enthusiast, Burke said, "When I contacted the city, said hey, you have this and it bothers me, there wasn't much reaction. Other than, we don't follow it."
Burke wrote about the law on the Facebook page he curates called Houston County Carries Concealed. He says it's intended to educate people on federal, state and local gun laws.
He asked for e-signatures supporting his effort to repeal the city law he found. In the first 24 hours, 219 people signed on.
"The problem is, it's none of the police chief's business, none of the City of Warner Robins business, who owns a gun in the City of Warner Robins," Burke said."It's just none of their business."
So, he's asked the mayor to strike the law from the books.
A discussion of the ordinance is now on Monday's council agenda.
Burke also says the city law conflicts with a state law that says city's and county's can't keep a database of gun owners.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen says since the law isn't enforced, he doesn't see any reason it shouldn't be repealed.
Removing it will require a vote from city council.