In the political debate over gun control, supporters of the Second Amendment right to bear arms typically describe their position as being about freedom and personal protection.

An individual’s freedom to decide whether or not to buy a gun, however, may soon be taken from residents of small towns in Maine, Georgia, and Utah.

In Nelson, Ga., city officials are mulling a proposal to mandate that its citizens take up arms for personal protection. Nelson, with a population of around 1,000 people, has just one police officer, WSB-TV reports, who patrols for eight hours a day.

“When he’s not here we rely on county sheriffs—however it takes a while for them to get here,” Nelson City Councilman Duane Cronic explained to the WSB.

“I think every city should do it. I think it should go countywide too,” a local resident told the TV station. Another, however, accused the proposal of being “big government at its worst. Government mandating what a free individual can and will have in his home.”

A vote on the Nelson measure is scheduled for April 1.

In nearby Kennesaw, Ga., a law has been on the books since 1982 mandating gun ownership. WUSA9 reported in February that the 30,000-person town’s leaders say the law prompted a sharp drop in crime, even though there’s no enforcement of the mandate.

Hundreds of miles away, a 145-person Maine town called Byron is considering a similar proposal.

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