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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thankfully, they spared me the awful picture that made its way onto the cover page of the print version . . . I knew I caught a flash bulb while speaking . . .

Link to Story

The headline was a little disturbing, but the article is actually very good, and it is obvious the reporter did her homework.
 

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Nice job there MP.

I agree with your comment concerning the headline. The article itself was well written and reports what happened without any editorial comment, both of which are rather unusual.

It appears you did an excellent job presenting your information (as well you should; Mister Lawyer-Guy!) and the commissioners sound fairly reasonable. Was that your impression of them?

Thanks for your efforts.

But, inquiring minds do want to see that picture ! ! !
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is this the beginning of a public relations battle?

If so, some concise, articulate, and well reasoned letters to the editor might help?

Letters to the Editor should be 300 words or less and include your name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters over 300 words are subject to editing. Only signed letters will be considered for publication. We will print your name and hometown only. Send your letter to [email protected] or via snail mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Times-Herald, P.O. Box 1052, Newnan, GA 30264. You may also drop it off at our offices from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or fax it to us at 770 253-2538.

:D
 

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Jerry Ann Conner, assistant county attorney, said in a letter to Commissioner Paul Poole that she feels that the county's regulation is constitutional. "The county has the right under its police powers to control activities on its own property," she said.

Conner said at the meeting that the state law on public gatherings is "extremely broad. I think it could prohibit a firearm from being on a county facility."

The public gathering definition, in code section 16-11-127, says "public gathering shall include, but shall not be limited to, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings, or establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. Nothing in this code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person licensed or permitted to carry such firearm by this part."
Ok, I know the county attorney's opinion on the law is not something I would rely on, (http://georgiacarry.org/cms/2006/12/04/gco-to-speak-to-coweta-county-commissioners/), but that article brings up a few questions...

Does the county attorney not know the difference between state preemption (where the county/city cannot make a law governing the issue, only the state can) and constitutional protection (neither the county/city nor the state can make a law)? I know she said that in the letter, but was the statement that the regulation was constitutional repeated at the meeting?

I am pretty sure MP would have talked about the definition of public place after such a comment by the county attorney, Did the reporter miss that?

Last, do we know when the next meeting on the issue might be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gunstar1 said:
. . . was the statement that the regulation was constitutional repeated at the meeting?
Nope.

Gunstar1 said:
I am pretty sure MP would have talked about the definition of public place after such a comment by the county attorney, Did the reporter miss that?
Nope, but I did discuss public gathering further. This went on for 20 or 30 minutes, so not everything could get into the paper. It went something like, "The public gathering law certainly would bar carrying in any publicly owned buildings at county recreational facilities, as well as athletic or sporting events, like little league games, which are both places specifically listed in the public gathering statute. In addition, because the statute says 'shall include but shall not be limited to,' the Court of Appeals has ruled that the phrase 'public gathering' also includes situations when people are gathered or will be gathered for a particular function." That is from State v. Burns. I then gave the example of a Fourth of July fireworks show and mentioned that there was, in fact a seminal case holding that a public Fourth of July BBQ was a public gathering. I left out the racist overtones in that case. This seemed to satisfy the concerns of most of the commissioners.

I then added that not every place and time in a park or recreational facility is a public gathering, so they should not make the mistake of thinking their ordinance is co-extensive with the state public gathering law.

And, of course, I added that they cannot have an ordinance even if it IS the same as the state public gathering law, which seems to be a sticking point. To emphasize the point, and in response to a question from a commissioner as to whether there was a court case on pre-emption, I quoted the following: “The practical effect of the preemption doctrine is to preclude all other local or special laws on the same subject.†Sturm Ruger Co. v. City of Atlanta, 253 Ga. App. 713, 718, 560 S.E.2d 525, 530 (2002) (emphasis added).

Gunstar1 said:
Last, do we know when the next meeting on the issue might be?
Not yet. The commission has ordered the county attorney to reevaluate her position, and she has said that she will review the materials I provided (which included the preemption statute and the AG opinon and citations to the Sturm Ruger case). I think she is entitled to a fair amount of time to reevaluate her position, which is a difficult task once one has already committed an erroneous position to writing and reasserted most of it in a commission meeting and then seen those reasserted opinions appear in newsprint.

Rammstein said:
Well done MP!
Thanks, Rammstein!
 

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Fantastic way to represent our 2nd amendment interests. Looked like a decent article with good information although I agree that the title is inappropriate. Typical for newspapers though. I'm not going to get into that issue.

Thanks for taking the time out to speak to them! Incremental victories lead to big results...
 
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