GA: Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks

GA: Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks

This is a discussion on GA: Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.georgiacarry.org/cms/2008...-ban-in-parks/ Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks The Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County has issued an injunction against Athens-Clarke County, prohibiting the ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mzmtg's Avatar
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    GA: Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks

    http://www.georgiacarry.org/cms/2008...-ban-in-parks/

    Court Enjoins Athens-Clarke From Enforcing Gun Ban in Parks

    The Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County has issued an injunction against Athens-Clarke County, prohibiting the county from enforcing its ban on carrying guns in county parks. The temporary injunction was consented to by the county as it contemplates repeal of its ordinance in light of the Court of Appeals Opinion that a similar ordinance in Coweta County is preempted by state law. Here’s the injunction.
    http://onlineathens.com/stories/0104...80104057.shtml

    A-C backs away from gun battle
    Group's pressure kills park ban

    Gun owners now are free to pack heat in Athens parks.

    The Athens-Clarke Commission will repeal a local law banning the possession of firearms in parks next month, under pressure from a gun-rights group, and can't enforce the law in the meantime.

    Commissioners met in closed session late Wednesday night to discuss a lawsuit filed in November by Fayetteville-based GeorgiaCarry.org. While commissioners believe people should not carry guns in parks, they reluctantly decided not to defend the ordinance in light of a recent Georgia Court of Appeals decision, Athens-Clarke officials said.

    "We think that being able to carry weapons in recreational settings around children is completely inappropriate," Commissioner David Lynn said.

    "We couldn't make some legal gesture that would end up costing taxpayers money," Lynn said. "We feel like we had no choice whatsoever."

    An agreement signed Thursday by Clarke County Superior Court Judge Steve Jones and lawyers for Athens-Clarke County and GeorgiaCarry.org prohibits the county from enforcing the law until the commission repeals it at its Feb. 5 meeting.

    The appeals court overturned a lower court ruling in December, striking down a similar law in Coweta County. Coweta officials decided not to appeal to the state Supreme Court, and the decision creates a statewide precedent.

    Athens-Clarke County had little chance of successfully fighting the lawsuit, county Attorney Bill Berryman said.

    "It is our position that the most recent appeal resolved that question," Berryman said. "It is the law of the land."

    State law prohibits cities and counties from restricting where people can carry guns. The law is intended to keep such restrictions uniform across the state, GeorgiaCarry.org President Ed Stone said.

    "We always thought it was an untenable position to have gun owners research laws in every single place," Stone said.

    Thursday's consent order settles the issue in Athens, but a similar lawsuit against Fulton County and a half-dozen cities still is active, Stone said. Another half-dozen cities and counties have repealed similar laws since GeorgiaCarry.org formed a year ago and began challenging them.

    The group also is seeking to overhaul the state's gun laws, backing a bill proposed by state Rep. Tim Bearden, R-Villa Rica. Under the bill, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg would face criminal penalties for sending undercover agents to investigate Georgia gun shops and Georgia officials would be prohibited from seizing weapons during an emergency, as Louisiana officials did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, among other provisions.

    Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 010408


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    "We always thought it was an untenable position to have gun owners research laws in every single place," Stone said.
    The research isn't the issue. The ability to defend one's self is. These idiots know this and ignore it, in pursuit of power over their constituents.

    Good for Georgia, for protecting its people.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Member Array JungleJim's Avatar
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    Hats off to GeorgiaCarry.org for filing the lawsuit and forcing the 'reluctant' elected leaders to comply with the Constitution

  4. #4
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    AMAZING...a city government that expects others to follow the laws and fails to do so itself...vote the bums out.

    Glad it's worked out...
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array mzmtg's Avatar
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    http://onlineathens.com/stories/0107...80107009.shtml

    Commission's repeal of gun ban was wise move

    "No county or municipal corporation, by zoning or by ordinance, resolution or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner gun shows; the possession, ownership, transport, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms or components of firearms, firearms dealers; or dealers in firearms components."

    That's the wording of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated at 16-11-173 (2)(b)(1), and it's abundantly clear that it prohibits local governments from regulating, beyond the bounds of state law, where and how firearms can be carried by people lawfully licensed to do so.

    Thus, the Athens-Clarke County Commission was wise to decide last week not to defend a county ordinance, specifically Section 1-10-4 (a)(3) of the county code, prohibiting the possession of firearms in the county's public parks. The ordinance has been challenged by GeorgiaCarry.org, a Fayetteville-based gun rights group that is challenging similar ordinances on the books in local jurisdictions across the state.

    The Athens-Clarke ordinance will be repealed by the commission at its Feb. 5 meeting. An agreement signed last week by the county and GeorgiaCarry.org prohibits enforcement of the ordinance until its formal repeal next month.

    GeorgiaCarry.org has been singularly successful in its efforts, and already has prompted a number of jurisdictions to drop ordinances in conflict with the state law. A recent Coweta County Superior Court ruling against GeorgiaCarry.org provided Athens-Clarke officials with some hope the local ordinance might be successfully defended, but a subsequent Georgia Court of Appeals ruling that struck down the Coweta County ordinance has, in the words of Athens-Clarke County Attorney Bill Berryman "resolved that question," making it clear that the state law pre-empting local laws on gun possession "is the law of the land."

    Clearly, in light of the appeals court ruling, defending the Athens-Clarke ordinance would have been an empty gesture, a potentially costly and ultimately futile attempt to defend what was, in essence, a community value against an unambiguous provision of state law.

    Obviously, there is some rationale for the state law. Gun owners who are licensed by the state shouldn't necessarily be held responsible for keeping abreast of, and complying with, a hodgepodge of local regulations under which an activity that is perfectly legal in one location may be illegal just a few miles down the road. As GeorgiaCarry.org President Ed Stone told this newspaper for a Friday story on the Athens-Clarke government's decision not to defend the ordinance banning guns from public parks, "We always thought it was an untenable position to have gun owners research laws in every single place."

    Fair enough.

    Yet, while GeorgiaCarry.org is clearly and unapologetically focused on firearms laws, as it has every right to be, it's nonetheless interesting to note that its Web site contains not the first reference to training in the safe use of firearms.

    Maybe the group's presumption is that people who are interested enough in weapons to obtain a firearms license also are going to be motivated to get training in the use of firearms. Nonetheless, it would be a bit easier to accept GeorgiaCarry.org's efforts to bring local governments into compliance with state law if the organization was as committed to communicating the responsibility associated with carrying a firearm as it is with asserting the right to carry one.

    Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 010708

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