U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth’s recent remarks about a symbolic proposal to require heads of Orofino households to have a gun are another example of her meddling in local issues, Democratic challenger Dan Williams says.
But Chenoweth’s spokeswoman contends the Republican congresswoman’s words are being twisted out of context.
Orofino City Council candidates Quentin Cook, Dan Henson and William Snook said they are open to enacting a measure patterned after an ordinance that is not enforced in Kennesaw, Ga., while four incumbent council members said they oppose the idea.
The Georgia town’s ordinance exempts the heads of households who are poor, oppose having firearms due to their beliefs or religious doctrine, have been convicted of felony crimes, or suffer from physical or mental disabilities that would stop them from using firearms.
Last week, Chenoweth said she believes crime is deterred when responsible people own guns in their homes and that laws about firearms should only be passed by local governments.
“Instead of minding Idaho’s business in Congress, Chenoweth is inserting herself into local city council races in Orofino,” Williams charged in a prepared statement Tuesday. “And worse, she’s promoting a city ordinance requiring people to keep a gun whether they want to or not.
“The trick is on the people of Orofino for supporting this nonsense. The treat is for the militias and other radical fringe groups that love these proposals.”
Chenoweth spokeswoman Khris Bershers contended the lawmaker was simply speaking philosophically.
“She never claimed to have read the ordinance or she never offered any type of support for forcing people to have guns if they did not want guns,” she said.
“She would encourage local communities to pass laws best suited for their local community.”
Chenoweth occasionally cites Kennesaw’s ordinance in her talks about Second Amendment rights.
Williams said he supports each person deciding for themselves whether or not to own a gun.
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