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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tomorrow brings an interesting twist to the "school function" prohibition. Setting aside the issues of whether or not it is a givernment building, is this playoff a "school function" or not?

The prohibition is as follows:
16-11-127 (b)(1)
Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person's control while within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school any weapon...."

MBS is clearly not a bus or transportation. So we need to determine if the CFP is held within a "school safety zone" or is a "school function".

The law defines a "school safety zone" as
OCGA § 16-11-127.1
(3) "School safety zone" means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to:
(B) Any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education.

So college campuses are a "school safety zone" but MBS is not unless it was leased to the USG or USA. Anyone know the legal ownership of MBS for tomorrow's game?

The law defines a "School Function" as:
OCGA § 16-11-127.1
(2) "School function" means a school function or related activity that occurs outside of a school safety zone and is for a public or private elementary or secondary school.

The law clearly states that school functions are for elementary or secondary, NOT colleges. So at this point, I think the law clearly does not make the College NFP game off limits. BUT....

When we skip down to the exceptions we find this:

OCGA § 16-11-127.1
(6) A person who has been authorized in writing by a duly authorized official of a public or private elementary or secondary school or a public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education or a local board of education as provided in Code Section 16-11-130.1 to have in such person's possession or use within a school safety zone, at a school function, or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school a weapon which would otherwise be prohibited by this Code section. Such authorization shall specify the weapon or weapons which have been authorized and the time period during which the authorization is valid;

So, why would I need permission to carry at an event that is not off limits to begin with (i.e. college function)? I realize that the exception covers "school function" and "school safety zone", which can be separate and unique. And, this is an exception and not an element of the crime. But does it does speak to the legislature's intent? Is it likely that a judge would read (6) and find that 16-11-127.1 (2) meant to include a "public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education" in the definition of "school function"?
Thoughts?
 

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Weapons Law Booklet
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You don’t need the exception to carry at a school function IF what you're going to is NOT a school function as that term is defined.

Colleges or universities are “post secondary” education, and an off-campus non-educational event involving college athletes shouldn’t be considered an off-limits location per 16-11-127.1.

Could a cop, prosecutor, or judge get it wrong?
I suppose, but this doesn’t really even look like a gray area to me.

I’d worry more about the other potential 16-11-127 issues: government building, private real estate used for public agency or commission meetings, criminal trespass, etc.
 
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I am with gunsmoker, including his caution about not supposing a police officer, prosecutor, or judge all will get it correct.

School functions do not appear to include college events off campus, by definition. Exception (6) does not change anything, since it is talking about all possible combinations. It includes elementary and secondary schools, and the reference to school functions is included only because such schools are included.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I interpreted it the same. But it wouldn't be the first time I thought I understood only yo be schooled by you guys.
 

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Since MBS is covered by government building, and now the secret service (for tomorrow), does any of this really matter? If they were playing at something like Lenora Park (https://goo.gl/maps/kSvEN1fYtuA2, just pulled a random location of a public football field out of my hair, not saying they'd actually play here) then I can see the argument.
 

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The main difference for a GWL holder is that while both kinds of violations would be misdemeanors, the school zone / school function law DOES NOT HAVE any right to retreat if your weapon is discovered at a security checkpoint.

The crime is complete as soon as you bring that weapon into the forbidden place, and there's no grace period for you to try to explain yourself or offer to go lock it in your parked car.
(The officers might let you do that, but they don't have to. Contrast 16-11-127.1 with 16-11-127(e).)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What GS said. Plus, their claim to a government building is simply BS.

OCGA 16-11-127:
(3) "Government building" means:
(A) The building in which a government entity is housed;
(B) The building where a government entity meets in its official capacity; provided, however, that if such building is not a publicly owned building, such building shall be considered a government building for the purposes of this Code section only during the time such government entity is meeting at such building; or
(C) The portion of any building that is not a publicly owned building that is occupied by a government en
tity.​

MBS does not meet the criteria in A by any reasonable definition. And if it is in fact leased to a 3rd party, then it is only a govt building when and where they are meeting.

And if it is still a government building while leased to a 3rd party, ABG is 100% never a prohibited zone.

Finally, I argue that of all the parties involved the US Secret Service has ZERO authority to create a gun free zone. See US Constitution, Amendment 2 for reference.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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I believe the building is publicly owned, and a "government building" at all times, since they probably hold meetings there from time to time to make it so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I believe the building is publicly owned, and a "government building" at all times, since they probably hold meetings there from time to time to make it so.
I believe that "hold meetings there from time to time" explicitly violates the intent of the law, as expressed in (3)(B) and (C)

Here is what I would like to see changed.

OCGA 16-11-127:
(3) "Government building" means:
(A) The building in which a government entity is housed;
(B) The building where a government entity meets in its official capacity; provided, however, that if such building is not a publicly owned building, such building shall be considered a government building for the purposes of this Code section only during the time such government entity is meeting at such building; or and
(C) The portion of any building that is not a publicly owned building that is occupied by a government en
tity.
 

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If they do that, look for them to convene a meeting every morning at 00:00 and adjourn every night at 23:59, or just convene/adjourn before/after every event. If we narrow the definition further to just the room, they'll consider the main room of someplace like MBS to be that room. Short of erasing every off-limits place under that code, or adding GWCL holders to 130, or better yet, both, these rabidly anti-gun jurisdictions will find a way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is what they are doing today. But we don't even make them actual hold a meeting.

We are a long way from ending off limits places. And a good way from getting on 130. At least we can eliminate the major loopholes.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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I think there was something in the news a while back where some officials admitted to planning to officially meet at Philips Arena once a year to take advantage of that loophole.

At the very least, I'd like to see the GA General Assembly declare that buildings used for public entertainment events cannot quality as a "government building."
 

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It is owned by Georgia World Congress Center Authority. It is operated by AMB Group, parent organization of Falcons and Atlanta United.

So what is the evidence that the GWCCA holds its governing board meetings there?

According to their meeting schedule, they meet only in the board room. https://www.gwcca.org/about-the-gwcca/governance/board-meeting-schedule/
 

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The "operated by" question should be answered very soon by the outcome of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens case, which will be binding case law, if it gives sufficient guidance.
 

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Well, if it's not a "government building", then legally you should be able to open carry right past their metal detectors with nary a peep out of them.

Would a nicely worded question to the GWCCA answer the government building question, or would we need to submit an open records request?

It is owned by Georgia World Congress Center Authority. It is operated by AMB Group, parent organization of Falcons and Atlanta United.

So what is the evidence that the GWCCA holds its governing board meetings there?

According to their meeting schedule, they meet only in the board room. https://www.gwcca.org/about-the-gwcca/governance/board-meeting-schedule/
 

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It's been three months since oral arguments. Is it only two judges that will be making the ruling?

Do we have any law-makers ready and willing to help us out if the ruling goes against us?

The "operated by" question should be answered very soon by the outcome of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens case, which will be binding case law, if it gives sufficient guidance.
 
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