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Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by GAGunOwner, Sep 7, 2006.
Can't remember and don't have time to look it up right now but, dosn't the statute say "place of worship" not "church"?
It says "church," but I think GGO answered his own question. A court would interpret that to mean any place of worship.
It actually says 'church or church function'
I've assumed that means that I'm a criminal when I carry to mid-week bible studies over at fellow church member's homes.
That's a gathering of the public for a common purpose anyway...
Well, by that logic then...any gathering of friends for a 'common purpose' (backyard BBQ, tennis practice, kid's b-day party) would be off limits.
If it's even remotely possible that the current law could be construed as such, that is a FINE illustration of how broken it is. Pointing out that absurdity would help us make the case for the need to change the law.
While most LEO's would probably interpret the public gathering law as such, the court of appeals have said that the focus has to be on the gathering and not the place. Which means that it has to be an organized event or function for which the public gather or will gather for. Remember, the key words here are event and function.
I would be a little hesitant to declare someone's private residence a public gathering just because a few fellow church members came over to recite passages from the good book. Now if you had a get together that invloved your whole congregation including everyone and their mother from off the street to gather in your front yard to recite the bible, then I can see where that would become a church function and/or fall under a "public gathering".
Ofcourse this is just my humble opinion and it is worth only what you paid for it
Private Residence and Public Gatherings
Wouldn't a public gathering by definition have to happen in a public place? The distinction I would draw is that churches are open to anyone where a private residence (regardless of whether a religious function or activity occurs there) is not.
At no time may a guest enter your home without your invitation or permission. However, anyone may enter a church any time it's open.
Of course, my opinion may be worth LESS than what you paid for it.
Re: Private Residence and Public Gatherings
That's the distinction I would draw too. I also believe that the language of O.C.G.A.16-11-127 would support that as well. Look at the last sentence of subsection a; "Nothing in this code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person license or permitted to carry such firearm by this part."
That sentence alone would leave me to believe that a violation of 16-11-127 can only happen in a public place and not in someone's private residence. I mean it would only make sense, since a person within their own home is also exempt from 16-11-126(carrying a concealed weapon) and 16-11-128(carrying a pistol without a license) What do the legal eagles have to say?
I think 127 is poorly written and difficult to understand, but that a technical reading of it might lead one to conclude that a church function in a private home could be a public gathering. While it's a strain to believe a court would convict someone in those circumstances, I wouldn't rule it out.
Bad facts make bad laws, and it's not difficult to imagine a set of facts where the defendant would be seen in a bad enough light that his conviction would stand.
For example, most public gathering convictions that have been reported (by appellate courts) involve a non-GFL holder who was otherwise up to no good. Imagine someone going to a bar mitzvah in someone's home. He doesn't have a GFL, he has a criminal record, and he's carrying a bag of pot and a gun. He charms a teenage girl, and they slip off into a bedroom for a joint and a roll in the hay. They are discovered. The girl's parents are furious and call the police. Our gun toter is arrested for possessing the pot, debauching the girl, and carrying a firearm to a public gathering on the grounds that the bar mitzvah was a church function.
Think he might get convicted on the gun charge? I do.
Ironically, "church" is a translation of a Greek word, "ecclesia," which means, literally, a gathering.
The same word was used of Greek political gatherings. It comes from root words meaning those called ot those called out.
I always thought it came from the Anglo-Saxon "chyra," meaning "to bring a gun to."
Seriously, though, Webster's New Collegiate traces it through several languages to the Greek "kyriakos" meaning "of the lord."
Ecclesia was a pre-existing word. What I mean is, the word existed prior to the foundation of the New Testament church. The word that appears most frequently translated as church is ecclesia. It literally means a gathering.
Kyriakos means, literally, "of the lord" as you pointed out.
Stolen from a web site on Greek translation (which I do not endorse and therefore do not link to the original, but it is easy enough to find):
A similar example is the word baptism, a word that did not exist in English at the time but was transliterated from the Greek to avoid the real translation to "immersion" and thereby protect the church practice of sprinkling or pouring, which was unknown to the early Christians and is unauthorized by God.
Oddly, Kyriakos is a very common Greek name today.
I just noticed that, again ironically, the definition given was "a congregation of people gathered together for a particular purpose."
I wonder if the State v. Burns court was quoting from this?