Watauga Councilman Wants Residents to Carry Firearms

Some residents want a recall election, Russell Clements was elected in May

Saturday, Sep 10, 2011  |  Updated 7:07 PM CDT
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Councilman Wants Residents to Carry Guns

Should Watauga residents openly carry guns, and those who have a CHL be required to carry their guns when they're at city hall?

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A city council member in Watauga has proposed that all residents in his community be authorized to openly carry firearms and those who have concealed-handgun licenses should be required to carry their guns when they are at city hall.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Saturday that the views of Russell Clements have inspired some residents in Watauga to consider a recall election for the council member, who was elected in May.

Clements is also proposing that police should train all residents who are older than 65 or disabled -- as well as any others who are interested -- to use shotguns and pistols for home defense.

Clements, who has a concealed-handgun license, said he longs for the freedom he had when he lived in Phoenix.

"I wore a .357 on my hip," he said. "Anyone in Arizona would tell you it's not a problem. It used to be in Texas we had that opportunity, but they changed it after the Civil War."

He said the city's policy against bringing guns into city hall is stupid because it denies him, other council members and residents who attend council meetings the ability to defend themselves.

Former Councilman Mike Steele, an ex-Marine and a concealed-handgun-license holder, said insisting that people attend council meetings armed is fringe thinking.

"His recommendation about training citizens to use a shotgun and pistol in home defense is loony," Steele said. "It's not the city's job to provide firearms training to its citizens."

Longtime resident Bernard "Sarge" Bowman, who attends many council meetings, said, "If we could do a recall tonight against Mr. Clements, I would be the first in line."

But any potential recall would have to wait as the city charter says a council member must be in office at least six months before being subject to recall.

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