Georgia town fights to keep gun ordinance
Kennesaw, Ga., officials are lobbying for a change in a state law that apparently prevents the city from enforcing an ordinance banning guns in city parks. Kennesaw was one of several Georgia towns targeted by GeorgiaCarry.org, an advocacy group that believes “citizens of Georgia and the United States have the right to own and carry the firearm of their choice for any reason other than to commit a crime.”
The ban on firearms in city parks had been part of the Kennesaw Parks and Recreation ordinance since 2003, says the city’s Public Relations Coordinator David Layman. On July 23, the city received a letter from GeorgiaCarry.org’s attorney, John Monroe. “The letter that we received basically was informing us that there was a law passed by the Georgia state legislature in 2005, which, in effect, says that no county or city government can regulate the carrying of firearms,” Layman says.
Copies of the same letter have been sent to a number of Georgia local governments, including Atlanta, with similar ordinances, which are commonplace. “It is important to note that there already exists a comprehensive state regulatory scheme for the possession of firearms,” the letter states.
On Aug. 20, the Kennesaw City Council voted to remove the ban on guns in city parks from the ordinance, albeit reluctantly. “The mayor and council voted to pull that based on the fact that we were being threatened with a lawsuit,” Layman says. “They fully plan to work with our local legislators in the Georgia General Assembly. What they’d like to see is for local governments to be able to have more restrictive ordinances on the books, especially when it comes to protecting the citizens.”