Carrying in city parks

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by jmorin, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. jmorin

    jmorin New Member

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    Hello all!

    I live in Atlanta and proudly carry my GA Firearms Permit and Glock 30 wherever it is legal. My girlfriend and I enjoy taking our dog to the city parks, but many have signs posting park rules including the wonderful "No firearms or other weapons". Two parks that come to mind are Grant Park and Chandler Park. I have yet to see any posting of park rules at Piedmont Park in Midtown.

    But I read with curiousity on this site about state preemption as well as the GA laws on parks, historic sites, and recreational areas under the auspices of the DNR. So my obvious question is:

    Can I legally carry in these city parks, even those with No Firearms signs, due to state preemption and the fact that these parks don't fall under the DNR?

    Thanks for clarifying this issue.
    Jason
     
  2. Whasat

    Whasat New Member

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    city parks

    I sent the police cheif here in Carrollton an e-mail a while back and got this short reply on city parks " As far as city parks are concerned, I believe that you are right, the DNR does not patrol these areas. " I would take this to mean that city parks are ok, but I'm no expert so you may want to wait on the opinon of some of the others on here.
     

  3. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    3 reasons why you can carry in a local park during a time when no "sporting events" are going on. (except Stone Mountain Park, where firearms are banned using a loophole)

    The DNR does not have authority over a city or county park. Map of State parks (if you will notice, state parks usually say "State Park" in the name)

    If it is a city or county park, pre-emption has authority. No county or city created park (probably ran by a city/county recreation authority) can create a ban on legally carried firearms. Pre-emption prohibits city/county and anything they control or grant authority to, from banning firearm carry with a license. It has to fall under a state law prohibiting carry, such as into publicly owned or operated buildings, then it is banned. So the park is not off limits, but restrooms housed in a tiny building is off limits.
    The signs are basically saying no guns without a permit... which is kind of stupid since you can't carry without one anyway.

    If city and county parks were able to ban firearms, their would have been no need for HB544 (which will hopefully remain dead) that wants to prohibit carrying weapons in local parks.
     
  4. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    Gunstar hit it pretty much squarely on the head.

    If you click on "Gun Laws" and read the plain english version of the law (not legal advice mind you) You will see a notation in the "public gathering" section of the plain english version that addresses this very issue.
     
  5. jmorin

    jmorin New Member

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    Re:

    Thanks y'all. After referring to the GA gun laws and the interpretations on this site, I figured I was safe. I guess I just wanted some affirmation from people with more knowledge and experience with GA CCW laws than me. I'm always worried I'll run into that one anti-everything hippie at the park who sees part of my concealed gun when I bend over to pet the dog and then calls the cops. Heck, you should see the looks I sometimes get when they see the NRA sticker on my SUV. :)

    Great site and forum. I'll definitely be hanging around.
    Regards,
    Jason
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe this needs to be added to the "No Firearms Allowed" thread.
     
  7. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    It may be lawful but be prepared to defend your self in court. Most cities and counties have ordinances still on the books in opposition to state law. You might try to represent your self on a summary offense, but if an appeal is necessary your going to need an attorney. From experience I can tell you they don’t come cheap.

    Now if the lawyers in the group want to give some free legal help maybe we should put together an open carry "event".
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Sir, honestly, are you aware of this ever happening?

    I only ask because I have never heard of it (outside of Stone Mountain Park, which is not technically a city or county park). I have even arrested people in parks for various violations, but I cannot recall the situation you describe ever happening.

    I do not believe we have any criminal defense lawyers in the group, but if someone wants to meet and talk about organizing an event like this, I would be willing to listen.

    Just don't be surprised if the police completely ignore you and don't charge anybody . . .
     
  9. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I would agree with that. I have become more and more aware of the fact that some city and county officials, many located in or near Atlanta, simply do not care what the state laws say.

    If a sign is posted in a park the only people it will stop are those that do not know the law. It won't stop criminals that's for sure. I am sure they know that it is not legally binding, look at the counties that take 6 months to issue a permit, they know it should take 60 days but they simply don't care.
     
  10. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    The problem is not that it happens. The problem is that it may happen. The local laws need to be changed. Either by court order or commision action. I suspect it will take court action. The multitude of conflicting laws in this state is ridiculus.
     
  11. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Does the sign reference any city, county, or even state code?

    Just wondering as their may not even be a city or county code about it. It could be some local potentate just ordered the signs and had them placed there.

    Also it could be the local potentate thinks a park is a public gathering and is justified in posting the sign. They would be wrong, but it would not be the first time public gathering is confused with public place.
     
  12. seajay

    seajay NRA Certified Instructor

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    If you want to put together an open carry event I will join in.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe we can arrange ahead of time to have a friendly law enforcement officer arrest ber950 so that we can challenge the law and so that our entire day is not wasted sitting around peacefully waiting to be hassled by police that really do not want to hassle us.
     
  14. seajay

    seajay NRA Certified Instructor

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    I know a couple of LEO's here in Smyrna who would probably do it for me.

    Want me to ask them?
     
  15. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    Friends

    With friends like this I can’t afford enemies. I guess I deserved it with that crack about lawyers. Sorry Malum. I had some bad experiences with the legal system. I always won but it cost a lot of money, so in one sense I lost. I have a question about case law. If a solicitor just dismissed the case would that have a binding effect? I don’t think so. Then what? I think if a judge threw out the case because of state law that would be binding, at least in that county.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    :D :D :lol: Actually, I agree with you. Legal fees and time wasted often mean you lose even when you win. As I stated, we have no criminal defense lawyers in the group, but we do not even know what the sign says . . . does it reference an ordinance or law?

    It may be something that is unenforced but still on the books, like the death penalty for rape or Georgia's sodomy laws.


    I frankly do not believe, just from the information in this post, that Atlanta is flagrantly violating the state's pre-emption law.
     
  17. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    To answer your question, what you would really want is a conviction that could be appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals and even the Georgia Supreme Court.

    OR - a ruling by the trial court in your favor that is then appealed by the prosecutor.

    In short, it doesn't really "count" until you get to that level.

    A better resolution than having you arrested in this situation might be to apply political pressure to have signs removed if they are inaccurate regarding the state of the law - or to have signs placed that accurately state the law as it exists under Georgia's preemption statute (although "No firearms without a firearms license" is probably not what the City of Atlanta had in mind).
     
  18. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    I was actually refering to Gwinnett County. It is a county ordinance.
    Snellville actually removed their no firearm sign from Briscoe Park. Maybe somebody gave them a heads up.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    What county ordinance (can you link it here) and what park?