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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being active in the real estate markets, I occasionally visit the ATL courthouse downtown to attend the foreclosure auction which is conducted on the front steps of the courthouse. Typically, there are as many as 200-300 people in attendance from the morning thru 4:00pm. Now, I knew I couldn't enter the courthouse while carrying, but wasn't sure about carrying while attending the auction on the steps. Wasn't sure if it was a "public gathering" or if the "courthouse" rules would apply.

Anyway, yesterday I did a little experiment and decided to ask each and every LEO who entered or left the courthouse during the auction just to see what they thought. I simply told each of them that I had a GFL and was wondering if it was legal for me to carry concealed while spending the day at the auction on the courthouse steps.

The result was a surprise! 11 out of 11 officers interrogated clearly stated that it was NOT A VIOLATION to carry concealed while attending the auction on the courthouse steps and they had no problem with it as long as I had a valid GFL.

Go figure!!!
 

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Watch_Their_Hands said:
That being the case, if it's legal to carry your gun concealed there, then it's legal to carry it open. :wink:
That would have been my very next question . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First of all, having these officers all say they thought it was legal and that they didn't have a problem with it.......does not make it legal. I still don't know if it's legal or not.
 

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I believe but need to go back and re-read that the step of the court house are still part of the building, public, just like the parking lot would be.. off to read.
 

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larryg2 said:
First of all, having these officers all say they thought it was legal and that they didn't have a problem with it.......does not make it legal. I still don't know if it's legal or not.
:lol:
 

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Even if the steps were NOT part of the courthouse (which I don't understand how that could be construed) I certainly don't see how a gathering of 200 or 300 people for the same, singular pupose could NOT be a public gathering. :?
 

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Tinkerhell said:
Even if the steps were NOT part of the courthouse (which I don't understand how that could be construed) I certainly don't see how a gathering of 200 or 300 people for the same, singular pupose could NOT be a public gathering. :?
exactly what I was about to say...
 

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Dan H said:
Tinkerhell said:
Even if the steps were NOT part of the courthouse (which I don't understand how that could be construed) I certainly don't see how a gathering of 200 or 300 people for the same, singular pupose could NOT be a public gathering. :?
exactly what I was about to say...
Same here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Folks, I actually asked two or three of the LEOs exactly that question. After having 5 or 6 tell me it was perfectly fine for me to carry on the steps, I told a few of them I thought it might be construed as a "public gathering". Each of them said, "no..that's something like going to a political function or Phipps Arena or the Georgia Dome".

I left it at that.
 

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Officer's discretion

I think it COULD be viewed as a "public gathering," both because it's at the courthouse, and also because a bunch of people are gathered to participate in an auction that starts at a set time and place.

But the Georgia code section on "public gatherings" is so vague and the examples provided so amazingly unhelpful, that I think this is one of those situations where the officer has discretion to either ignore it, give you a warning, or make an arrest and pass the buck to the solicitor's office.

So do you want to take a chance on an overzealous cop, magistrate judge (to sign your arrest warrant), and assistant solicitor?

Me either. (So I'll carry well concealed :lol: )
 

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Also remember that there is a court case upholding the conviction of aperson who possessed a firearm on the grounds of an auto auction - with the auto auction being the "public gathering". I figure the same could be construed for a mortgage auction on the courthouse steps.
 

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this tops any other post i personally have read here.
I was carrying concealed today, like every other day. In waist band holster snapped onto my jeans right in the small of the back under a T-shirt. I went to speak to a customer about an upcoming job inside of a mall that she manages. As she was showing me more work to add to the estimate she took me right into the Police Station right there in the mall, there were about 25 officers standing around, etc. I was in there probably a half hour or more, measuring and writing stuff down. I was imagining the possible confrontations that could come out of this the whole time. I am not reccomending others should do this, I had to go home afterwards and curl up in the fetal position for awhile.......no i did not cry.
 

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jeepsterwannabe said:
this tops any other post i personally have read here.
I was carrying concealed today, like every other day. In waist band holster snapped onto my jeans right in the small of the back under a T-shirt. I went to speak to a customer about an upcoming job inside of a mall that she manages. As she was showing me more work to add to the estimate she took me right into the Police Station right there in the mall, there were about 25 officers standing around, etc. I was in there probably a half hour or more, measuring and writing stuff down. I was imagining the possible confrontations that could come out of this the whole time. I am not reccomending others should do this, I had to go home afterwards and curl up in the fetal position for awhile.......no i did not cry.
Jeez.

I don't think I could have done that.
 

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jeepsterwannabe said:
I was carrying concealed today, like every other day. . . . she took me right into the Police Station right there in the mall, there were about 25 officers standing around, etc. I was in there probably a half hour or more . . .
:jail:

These officers have internet access, they read here, and they know where you hide it, and now they have probable cause next time they see you inside the station.

How many malls have a police station with 25 cops that had a guy inside taking measurements for a half hour yesterday?
 
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