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Kennesaw drops park gun ban!!!

Discussion in 'The Georgia Club' started by Adam5, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. Adam5


    Sep 13, 2006
    Atlanta, GA

    Kennesaw throws out rule against weapons in parks

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Published on: 08/09/07

    Attorneys for the city of Kennesaw, where residents are required by law to own and maintain a firearm, said Thursday they are asking local officials to throw out an ordinance that bans people from toting guns in city parks.

    The gun-in-parks ordinance violates state law, which preempts the Kennesaw ordinance, said Stuart Sims, an attorney for the City of Kennesaw.

    He said the recommendation was made to comply with a Georgia law that stipulates only the state has the power to determine where guns may be carried or transported.

    The action by Kennesaw's attorneys came in response to a letter from firearms right organization, which pointed out that the revised state law preempted the council's prohibition on guns in parks.

    He said in a letter to's attorney, John Monroe of Roswell, that the mayor and City Council of Kennesaw have agreed to consider repealing the ordinance and that therefore, "no legal action is necessary to cure this contradiction between the preempting state statute and this city ordinance" and that Kennesaw now considers "this matter closed."

    Fred Bentley Jr., of the Marietta-based Bentley, Bentley & Bentley law firm that represents the City of Kennesaw, said he did not know how long the Kennesaw ordinance has been on the books but the Georgia Legislature has reserved the right for itself to determine where firearms can be carried.

    "The state law says the state is the only one that can control where weapons are controlled," Bentley said. "The city's powers come through the sate. Now we are trying to avoid a lawsuit. The city is not happy about it." President Ed Stone said "we believe it is important for Kennesaw and other cities to comply" with state law.

    "Georgians should not have to research the minutiae of local ordinances while visiting cities and counties throughout Georgia," he said.

    Since the city of Kennesaw has complied with his group's demands, he said no legal action will be taken. He said his group has similar litigation against Coweta County pending in the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    Bentley said the city of Kennesaw believes "it is in the best interest of the city to be able to decide where guns can be carried, to protect children. We believe the state law is absolutely wrong, that you ought to be able to ban guns from parks. We don't want to have guns in parks. It's not safe."

    He said he couldn't remember when or why the Kennesaw ordinance was passed but he thought it was in response to a parent toting a gun at a football or basketball game

    "The city certainly still believes in upholding the right to bear arms," Bentley said. "But the state law says no city or county may pass an ordinance with respect to guns in pubic places."

    He said the city had been threatened by a federal court suit "to challenge our right to control weapons in city parks."

    Bentley said it is his understanding that even when the ordinance is repealed, law enforcement officers and people who have obtained permits to carry guns will be allowed to do so in city parks.

    The city ordinance bans firearms or knives, said Sims, who works for the Bentley firm.

    Monroe said the state law allows cities and counties to regulate the discharging of firearms, the carrying of firearms by their own employees, and allows cities to require heads of households to own firearms.

    "Other than that," Monroe said, "state law doesn't permit firearm regulation in any way at all."

    He said is a nonprofit group whose members believe in the right to keep and bear arms. He said his letter to Kennesaw attorneys, which led to their appeal to city officials, had nothing to do with the 1982 Kennesaw law requiring heads of households to own firearms.
  2. lionelhutz


    Dec 5, 2006
    Just an update on this. Congrats to!

    (Please just ignore the Kennesaw mayor's "won't someone PLEASE think of the children?!" whining.)

    Kennesaw reinstates law allowing guns in parks

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 08/21/07

    Kennesaw Mayor Leonard Church said today that his city "against our will" has made it legal again for "practically anyone" to carry guns in city parks.

    Church said Georgia law gives only the state the power to regulate where firearms may be carried, and that the Kennesaw City Council rescinded its ordinance banning guns in its parks under threat of lawsuit from an organization called

    John Monroe, a Roswell attorney who represents the pro-gun organization, said the suit was filed last week against Fulton County and six of its cities — Milton, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, East Point and Union City —that also have ordinances that ban the carrying of firearms in parks.

    State law permits people to have guns in their homes, cars and places of businesses and anywhere else if they have a license to carry a firearm, Monroe said. He said a suit also has been filed in Coweta County, which also restricts firearms in public parks.

    "The state law says no county or local governments can regulate this," he said. "It's a blanket prohibition against counties and local governments from regulating firearms at all. They can regulate the discharge of firearms, the carrying of firearms by their own employees, and they can require heads of households to own firearms."

    Church said the Kennesaw City Council felt it had no choice but to rescind its ban on firearms in parks, but will now pressure its representatives in the General Assembly to change the law.

    "We passed an ordinance banning firearms, and the state in its infinite wisdom passed a law saying people can have guns in parks and endanger our kids," Church said. "We are going to challenge that. We think we ought to have the right to protect our kids and our citizenry."

    Kennesaw passed a law years ago requiring landowners to own and maintain a firearm, but doesn't want anyone to be allowed to tote guns in parks, Church said.

    "It was emotional for us," he said of the City Council's meeting Monday night. "We are trying to protect our kids, and that should be our right."

    Monroe had notified Kennesaw it was not in compliance with state law, and had threatened to sue, said city spokesman David Layman.

    Monroe said that when began its campaign to overturn local ordinances like Kennesaw's, eight counties had similar rules.

    "We are down to six counties now and quite a few cities that tend to be in more urban areas," Monroe said.

    Those counties are Fulton, Athens-Clarke, Coweta, Floyd, Glynn and Henry.

    "All have similar ordinances," Monroe said.

    The purpose of "is to protect the right of its members to keep and carry arms," Monroe said. "There is no registration of firearms in Georgia. It's against the law in Georgia to carry a firearm outside your home, auto or place of business without a license. If you have the license then you can carry it anywhere except where state law prohibits, and those places are fairly lengthy. But only the state can say what those places are."

    Church said is a group "that doesn't have anything better to do than to endanger our kids" in Kennesaw and other cities.

    Monroe said the Coweta County Superior Court ruled that the county could ban the carrying or possession of firearms in its parks, but that case has been appealed to the state Court of Appeals. A decision is expected in the first quarter of next year.

    He said "did commence action in Gwinnett" to force it to rescind its no-guns-in-park ordinance but dismissed the suit when Gwinnett repealed its ordinance.

  3. Heard on the news this morning, that they will now try to sue GA over its preemptive law.

    Sounds like they're back at it again.
  4. MalumProhibitum


    Jul 24, 2006
    They would lose that lawsuit. Actually, I think they are talking about taking it to the legislature in 2008. There was a bill to ban carry in city and county parks in 2005, but it did not stand a chance, and I do not think the political climate on this particular issue is any different in 2008.
  5. GlockNess


    Nov 12, 2003
    Rome, GA
    Rome city had to through out their park ban, too.
  6. MalumProhibitum


    Jul 24, 2006
    Rome, Woodstock, Johns Creek, Milton, Kennesaw, Floyd County, Gwinnett County, Lee County.

    Athens-Clarke County has just been asked.

    Coweta County and GCO are in the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    Atlanta, Fulton County, East Point, Union City, Roswell, are all in trial court with GCO.


    Are you a member of GCO?

    GCO Membership Here
  7. GlockNess


    Nov 12, 2003
    Rome, GA
    No, how do I become a member?
  8. MalumProhibitum


    Jul 24, 2006
    Easy! :supergrin: Click on the link!

    Membership Link
  9. GlockNess


    Nov 12, 2003
    Rome, GA