Signs Down

Signs banning guns taken down at Loudon County government office building
LAURA HALM-6 News Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) - Loudon County commissioners voted 10 to zero Monday night to take down warning signs that prohibit firearms inside the county's office building.

This idea was pitched by recently elected Loudon County Mayor Rollen "Buddy" Bradshaw, who says this move is all about safety.

The signs were taken down Tuesday morning only at the county office building off River Road.

Mayor Bradshaw says the ban on guns inside county offices was outdated.

"What the gun signs in effect did was disarm a law abiding citizen, and I didn't feel comfortable being a part of that," said Mayor Bradshaw. "I think this makes us safer. In my opinion removing the signs is the same thing as removing a bullseye."

Some residents 6 News spoke with are glad about the change.

"If he's looking for more protection and better protection from law abiding citizens, that's exactly what he's going to get," said Loudon resident Jack Lawing.

There are still safety measures inside county offices, including two entrances that require pass codes, security cameras and panic buttons.

"I don't think it's right for him to take them down," said Lenoir City resident Peggy Taylor.

The gun ban still applies to county employees, but that could soon change as well.

"There's a policy against employees carrying, and that's something we're going to address at a later date," said Mayor Bradshaw.

For now, some Loudon natives say this protects their Second Amendment rights. 

"If people know how to use them and knows when to use them, when not to, then kids shouldn't have anything to worry about. I think it's a good thing he did do that," said Lenoir City resident Leonard Lambert.

The Loudon County mayor is leaving it up to the sheriff's office whether to take down the gun ban signs at the county courthouses or the annex.

County leaders are also formulating an emergency plan in case of an active shooter situation inside the office building.