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2 Posts
My concerns

This very incident has prompted me to join...
Forgive me if this has been addressed in another post...
I have a conceal carry permit, but am concerned about carrying while on the Silver Comet Trail due to the restrictions of parks or historic locations. I understand Silver Comet Trail is owned by GDOT. Can I leagally carry here?

Premium Member
8,460 Posts
Well since it is the property of GaDOT, it is basically the same as a street or sidewalk.

The only state law that might cover it is WMA which part of the trail does cross through (the trail right-of-way should cover you but I am not positive).

After that, state pre-emption prevents the locals from passing/enforcing a local ordinance prohibiting carry on their part of the trail.

Super Moderator
73,526 Posts
GS1, Where is the WMA? WMAs allow hunting, so I find this to be a rather odd thing to have the Silver Comet Trail run through.

By the way, MsBeck, I extend a welcome to this site from someone who posts here frequently (too frequently, according to some :wink: ). Many women have suddenly become very safety conscious because of what occurred on the trail. I just wish it did not take such tragedy to motivate people to look out for themselves.

The police cannot be everywhere (nor would we really like to live in a world where the police officers were everywhere).

I am not aware of a park or historic site actually on the trail itself. Keep in mind that the park restriction applies only to State Parks. With that having been said, some localities have passed unlawful ordinances restricting carry in county and city parks. Even though such ordinances are preempted by state law, every one of them we have asked asserts that they will enforce them.

My advice would be to carry discretely until we can get some of these off limits place restrictions repealed.

An articulate woman who carries for self protection and is concerned about these off limits places would probably be more convincing than a big male to a State Senator or State Representative who is on the fence about repealing such restrictions. :wink:

2,274 Posts
The Silver Comet Trail article

I thought this was interesting, especially after the reactions to "MP's" posts over on the trail forum.

Trail users to exercise safety
Yolanda Rodriguez - Staff
Thursday, August 3, 2006

Walk with buddies. Carry a big stick or Mace or even a concealed weapon.

In the wake of last week's slaying of Jennifer Ewing on the Silver Comet Trail, people who use it --- and love it --- are working on ways to keep it safe.

One man wants to organize bike patrols. A woman wants to put walkers in touch with each other so they can walk in groups.

"The thing that is wonderful about this trail is that it crosses all boundaries --- from young to middle to old age. Cyclists, walkers, runners, moms with baby carriages, Rollerbladers," said Darleen Walraven, 54, who was among three dozen people who gathered at a trailhead in Smyrna on Tuesday.

Ewing's slaying has touched just about everyone who uses the trail, she said.

"She's one of us," Walraven said. "I'm 54. She's 54. She came a lot. We come here a lot. It's just average people trying to stay healthy, enjoying nature. And now we just don't know what's lurking around the next corner. It's just taken away a sense of peacefulness."

They gathered at the same trailhead where Ewing set off on July 25 for her regular bike ride, which took her from Cobb to Paulding.

Michael William Ledford, 43, a convicted rapist, has been charged in Ewing's slaying. Police found Ewing's partially clothed body July 26, near the trail's mile marker 17 in Paulding County.

Chris Holley hopes cyclists will volunteer to patrol the trail. They would provide water or assistance to anyone in need and keep an eye out for anything or anyone that might mean danger.

"I want people to be able to feel safe down here," said Holley, who is hoping to call the team Trail Troopers.

Interest is high in staying safe.

Dianne Aurie Moore of Smyrna said that within a few days of creating a space for would-be walking buddies on, 25 people sent messages saying they were interested in connecting. The group's first walk is scheduled for Saturday.

Cobb police officer Russell Creamer, who patrols the Silver Comet Trail, encouraged people to connect before heading out to the trail.

"Safety in numbers is the best thing I can recommend," Creamer said.

Some have already taken measures.

Marie Fields, 70, of Smyrna bought a "third eye" --- a small round mirror that attaches to the frames of her glasses. It allows her to see what's going on behind her.

Joan Bennett uses a branch as a walking stick and wears a whistle around her neck.

"Be aware," she said. "If they get me, they are going to have a fight on them."

Ellen Carroll, who rides frequently to Rockmart, said she is thinking about getting a small gun.

Riding through parts of the trail that don't have a lot of users "just doesn't feel good," said Carroll of Atlanta.

Hilda Tatom, 71, and Winnie Morse, 70, helped organize the meeting and were heartened by the turnout.

They hope to get a bulletin board soon for the trailhead to keep people informed.

Tatom suggested that people who use the trail in the evenings form safety groups too.

Ewing's slaying angered Kathy Hobbs.

"We are not in downtown Atlanta. We are not in New York City. We are in Smyrna, Georgia. I don't want to be intimidated off of the trail. ... There's too many people that love it, enjoy it. And we are going to do whatever it takes to take back the trail."

214 Posts
Who owns and operates the rest stops along the trail?

Are the buildings and restrooms (I think they're only in the less remote sections) "publicly owned and operated?" If so, wouldn't they essentially be the same as a highway rest stop where carry inside the building(s) is prohibited?
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