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I'm wondering what the rationale, opinion, or basis is for the notes in the gun laws page regarding movie theaters and the like not being public gatherings. I'd love to carry from my car into the theater, but I'd always figured since it was a scheduled time event, it qualified as a public gathering. The discussion says the buying of tickets means controlled access, but how is this different from a sporting event, most of which require tickets?
 

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I carry in theaters, but always very, very discretely.

Or I just wait for it to come out on DVD.
 

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I can't think

I can't really understand the rationale of the legislature's use of the term "public gatherings" as contrasted with "public places." Their list of examples that illustrate, but do not limit, the definition of "public gatherings" is not helpful. For these reasons I cannot say whether the legislature "INTENDED" to criminalize carrying a weapon into a regular movie theater, or for that matter a live play or other arts/cultural event that is neither held in a government building nor features alcohol.

I'm sure that if I'm ever caught carrying my pistol in, to, or from a movie theater (especially likely when I go to a 9:30 movie that doesn't end until midnight, and I have to walk through a mostly empty and deserted parking area to find my car), and IF I were were charged, THEN I would put a whole lot more of thinking into this issue and I'd darn sure try to come up with some logical reasons to tell the prosecutor/court/jury as to why the law should treat movie theaters more like fast food restaurants and crowded malls (OK carrry) rather than treating them like church services or fairs or parades. (NO carry).
 

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kkennett said:
The discussion says the buying of tickets means controlled access, but how is this different from a sporting event, most of which require tickets?
Maybe because sportings events, according to O.C.G.A.16-11-127 (b), are public gatherings by their own definition in the code section. Movie theaters are not.

The reasoning here is that if the place in question does not fall within the definition of subsection b of the public gathering code and the place does not let the public freely gather, (i.e. only allowing those individuals enter the premise who have authorized access or a ticket) then it could be somewhat difficult for a prosecutor to convince a jury the place in question was a public gathering. Like other posters said before there is no definite answer. But it's a defense I would and have used when face with possible prosecution. It all boils down to what is more important to you. Having access to an otherwise legally carried weapon for defense and risk the remote possibility some overzealous LEO might cause trouble for you, or disarm and hope your personal safety isn't put to the test.

I think everyone will agree with me here, that if you are going to a place that isn't off limits by definition of the code section, but is questionable because of the presence of people that attend or participate in some singular event or function, then conceal as best you can...*hint *hint Smartcarry or Thunderwear... It is unlikely that you'll run into a life threating at your place of destination, it is just the trip from your car to your destination and back is where you'll likely need your piece.

I will try to avoid public gatherings all together and I second with MP in this situation. I carry in theaters. After working in them for 5 years and seeing what has gone on. I will never, ever enter a movie theater establishment unarmed, legal or not. Since I am now married to a very special woman, I have a duty to be extra more vigilant not only in my protection, but in the protection of her. She is foreign, very naive, and comes from a country that prohibits all forms of private weapon ownership. And everytime she is in public with me, you can guarantee I will be armed for the protection of us, public gathering or not.
 
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