Weapons banned in all Loudon Co. Gov't buildings

6 News Reporter

LOUDON COUNTY (WATE) -- If you walk in a government building in Loudon County, expect to see a red sign warning that firearms, chemical sprays and weapons of any kind are not allowed.

"I'm all about Second Amendment rights and things of that nature, but at the same token people come here to conduct business and we are not living in the old wild," says County Mayor Doyle Arp.

However, Commissioner Austin Shaver disagrees. He drafted a resolution challenging the new ban. But when it came before commission, he was the only one who voted for it.

One reason Commissioner Shaver doesn't like the ban is because right now, there are no other measures in place to provide security in place of personal defense.

"There is no security here on a regular basis, unless they are here for another reason. There is a metal detector on site although it's rarely used, and even if it is, it's not manned by any security personnel," Shaver says.

Shaver also points to recent shootings where having security didn't make a difference. "Government cannot protect everywhere at all times, whether it be at church, Central High School or even Knoxville Center Mall. Things are going to happen."

The ban may not be foolproof but Mayor Arp says it's better than nothing. "If we suspect someone is now carrying a concealed weapon, we now have the right to have a law enforcement officer ask them to leave the building."

Shaver says it remains to be seen how effective the ban will be because without security, there's really no way to enforce what's coming through county doors.

Mayor Arp says there's a chance the ban wouldn't hold up in court and that it could be overturned. However, he's unaware of anyone wanting to challenge it.