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If you own or manage a liquor store (you sell booze, but NOT for consumption on your property), can you carry a firearm, or keep one behind the counter, for the protection of your life, the lives of your customers, and the prevention of other serious felonies against your business?

Or is there a law, rule, or administrative regulation prohibiting it?

I know that the "public gatherings" law, 16-11-127 would not apply to a liquor store, but what about something found in O.C.G.A. Title 3, regarding alcoholic beverages, or the licensing regulations promulgated by the state Board?

I was talking to the owner of a liquor store today, who told me that he's forbidden from having a gun on the premises, due to some special law that only applied to holders of alcoholic beverage licenses. He said that if the liquor law inspector ever caught him with a gun on the property, he could lose his business license. Could this be true? Does the state of Georgia really have a policy mandating that liquor store clerks be shot to death execution-style, begging for their lives, unable to effectively resist?
 

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I have never heard of any such thing, and I have provided security to liquor stores before. I was armed and so were the owners. It is very typical for owners of such businesses to be armed (like pawn shops, you just expect it).

It might be that the owner was confusing the public gathering law.
 

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If my place of business is a bar then can I carry?

16-11-126.
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, metal knuckles, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.

What about someone who works at a church? A state/local government employee?
 

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atlctyslkr said:
If my place of business is a bar then can I carry?

16-11-126.
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a concealed weapon when such person knowingly has or carries about his or her person, unless in an open manner and fully exposed to view, any bludgeon, metal knuckles, firearm, knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character outside of his or her home or place of business, except as permitted under this Code section.

What about someone who works at a church? A state/local government employee?
Malum has a caselaw posted on this forum somewhere that addresses employees packing while at work. I don't remember it word for word, but I believe the jist was that you could carry a concealed weapon, without a license, at your job no matter if you were the owner, manager, or regular employee. But just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't be caught carrying at my place of business without a license unless I was the owner or manager in control of the property.

I don't believe, however, that it( the exceptions ) would apply to the business if it is defined as a public gathering.

As far as to your inquiry about a state and local government employee, under O.C.G.A. 16-11-173 the local unit of government that one is employed with CAN regulate the possession and carrying of weapons in the course and scope of that employee's duties.
 

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ICP_Juggalo said:
Malum has a caselaw posted on this forum somewhere that addresses employees packing while at work. I don't remember it word for word, but I believe the jist was that you could carry a concealed weapon, without a license, at your job no matter if you were the owner, manager, or regular employee. But just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't be caught carrying at my place of business without a license unless I was the owner or manager in control of the property.
In the case of Coker v. State, 12 Ga. App. 425, 76 S. E. 103, 991, the defendant had a pistol on a farm of which he was “in charge as an overseer.†It was his place of business. In Miller v. State, 12 Ga. App. 479, 77 S. E. 653, the defendant had a pistol on a farm on which he was “employed as a farm laborer,†his place of business. In Franklin v. State, 12 Ga. App. 483, 77 S. E. 653, the defendant was on a farm where “he lived and worked, and which he owned in common with others,†his home and place of business.
The above quote is from Reagan v. State, 16 Ga.App. 369, 85 S.E. 353 (1915), in which it was held that a landlord who carried a pistol on his rental property without a license was properly convicted of carrying a pistol without a license for the reason that:
The leased premises described in the present case certainly cannot be said to be the defendant's home or his place of business. He had no possession, nor did he have a right of possession (at that time) to the premises occupied by his tenant; nor had he any right to the use and enjoyment thereof so long as the tenancy existed. The tenant had the right of exclusive use and possession, it was both his home and his place of business, and the defendant had no right to enter to carry a pistol there during the life of the tenancy. It was a violation of the law. If there had been made to appear that there was some special contract whereby the defendant reserved the right and privilege of superintending, or controlling, or overseeing the premises, a different question would be presented.
 

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Another farm laborer was not guilty of carried a concealed weapon upon the entire farm of his employer:

Is the farm on which one earns his living--the land upon which one labors at farming--his place of business? The court (after correctly stating the rule as it should be applied in case of the proprietor, or person in control of the plantation) charged the jury that, as to “an employé whose only duty it is to work upon any portion of the farm as might be directed of him by his employer or by the person in charge and management of the farm, and who has no other control or management of the farm except to work thereon as directed by such manager, overseer, or owner, such farm would not, within the meaning of this statute, constitute the place of business of such employé, so as to permit him to carry a pistol without first having taken out a license so to do.†The court refused to charge that: “If a wage hand, a cropper, or a tenant, employed on a farm and whose duty is to work on the farm or any part of the employer's plantation or farm where he is directed to labor, or where he has possession of the farm, either as a farm hand, cropper, or tenant, he would have the right to have in his manual possession thereon a pistol without first procuring a license from the ordinary of the county.â€

We consider the point settled by the ruling in Coker v. State, 12 Ga. App. 425, 76 S. E. 103, 991, and we hold that the court erred in the instruction given. We cannot concur in the view taken by the learned solicitor general that it was the intention of the lawmakers to confer upon landed proprietors privileges to which their fellow citizens who might happen to be farm laborers would not be entitled, or to deprive a farm laborer of the right of openly carrying a pistol, as need might require, at his home or place of business, while according that right to others whose only claim to this partiality lies in their property interests. If, under any circumstances, there is any necessity for one to have a pistol at his place of business, the necessity is as apt to arise in the case of a laborer as in that of a landed proprietor. The possession of a pistol in either case could be justified only upon some principle of law which might justify its use. And, under these circumstances, the possession of a pistol might be absolutely necessary. Certainly it cannot be contended that, even though one is a mere farm laborer, he should be left defenseless (at the place of business where he is compelled to work) against an unlawful and felonious attack which he might have good reason to apprehend, unless he sees proper, and likewise has the opportunity, to obtain a license to carry his pistol, and yet the more favored landowner not be subjected to such a requirement. The law must be administered with uniformity and impartiality. Without regard to social or financial status, the Legislature has seen fit to permit the citizen to have and carry a pistol without a license at his home and place of business, and no question of policy or expediency can be permitted to vary the plain letter of the law or its apparent spirit.
In view of the error in the court's instruction, the court erred in refusing a new trial.
Judgment reversed.
Idelett v. State, 14 Ga.App. 501, 81 S.E. 379 (1914).
 

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But another landlord was guilty both of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a weapon without a license.

Similar to Reagan, in the present case, no evidence was presented that Ely retained any special right to control or oversee the leased premises. The incident took place in the parking area of the rental home, an area that was clearly subject to the tenant's control. As his tenant had possession of the rental property, Ely cannot claim that the property was his place of business. Accordingly, the exception found in OCGA § 16-11-126 is inapplicable to Ely's case, and the trial court did not err in denying Ely's motion for a directed verdict.

Ely asserts that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury that one cannot be found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in “his place of business.†Based on our reasoning in Division 1, above, Ely's rental property could not be considered his place of **649 business. Therefore, the evidence did not justify this charge, and the trial court did not err in failing to give it.
Ely v. State, 222 Ga.App. 651, 475 S.E.2d 647 (1996).
 
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