The Week in Wingnuts: Mandatory Guns and State Religions

The Daily Beast’s weekly rundown of the wildest ideas being proposed, or passed, by state lawmakers.

Linda Davidson/The Washington Post, via Getty

North Carolina: The Promised Land?

GOP state Reps. Carl Ford and Harry Warren jointly proposed a bill Monday that would allow the state to declare an official religion—effectively nullifying the first amendment. The proposal, backed by 12 other Republicans, was put forth as a responsive to an ACLU lawsuit aimed at blocking commissioners in one North Carolina county from opening meetings with a prayer. Thursday, House Speaker Thom Tillis, who’s reportedly considering a U.S. Senate run, effectively killed the proposal by announcing it would nota receive a vote in the full House.

Indiana: Locked and loaded

The state House Education Committee Tuesday approved legislation mandating that one employee in every public school carry a loaded gun during school hours. The bill, which would be the nation’s first of its kind, passed out of committee just hours before the NRA released ++a report++ calling for more armed officers in schools.

Georgia: Don’t mess with Nelson

In a unanimous 5-0 vote on Monday, the City Council of Nelson, a small city about 50 miles outside of Atlanta, passed a law that would require every household "to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition." Although Councilman Duane Cronic admitted that the law, which exempts convicted felons and those opposed to gun ownership, likely won’t be enforced, he said it will still make the city safer. "I likened it to a security sign that people put up in their front yards,” he said.

Georgia: Pretend homosexuals?

Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the state Republican Party, made headlines this week when she claimed that allowing gay people to marry would lead to straight people entering into sham marriages to claim health and other benefits. “Say you had a great job…what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?” Everhart said, adding that gay marriage was also unnatural. “There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.” She didn’t explain what prevented people, gay or straight, from entering into sham marriages now with someone of the opposite sex.

Maine: Hit him where it hurts

Democrats in Maine are trying to take away Republican Gov. LePage’s pension as punishment for his policies. The state’s Senate Assistant Majority Leader Troy Jackson has proposed a bill, co-signed by four other Democrats, that would revoke the pension of any governor who wasn’t elected to a second term (the current law grants a lifetime pension to any person elected to the office).

“At a time when Gov. LePage and others are asking state employees to sacrifice, even at the expense of their own pensions which were promised to them when they signed their contracts, the governor should be held to the same standard,” Jackson said last week.

Kansas: Life Starts Sooner Here

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The Kansas legislature became the latest to pass sweeping anti-abortion measures when lawmakers this week approved ++a bill++ declaring that life begins “at fertilization.” In a 90-30 vote on Saturday, the house sent HB 2253 to Republican Kansas Gov. Brownback, who is expected to sign it into law next week. The new law rescinds tax breaks for abortion providers in an effort to stop any state funds from being spent directly or indirectly on the procedure, and bans providers from participating in public school sex education classes.

Something strange happening in your state that we missed? Shoot us an email at [email protected]