The City Council is considering a change to its ordinance regulating guns in public parks after receiving a warning from a gun owner rights advocacy group. City Attorney Wendell Willard said he received a letter from Georgiacarry.org informing him that the city’s ordinance that prohibits firing a gun in a public park unless authorized by the City Council contains language referring to now-obsolete state law.

The ordinance in question contains the wording, “Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127, it is unlawful to carry a firearm to a public gathering, as defined in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127, within the city.” The law was changed to expand the rights of gun owners in the state, removing the reference to “public gatherings.”

“I received notice from them that they didn’t like that … and if we didn’t change it we’d get in a lawsuit,” Willard said.

Willard asked the council to consider updating its ordinance at a future meeting.

Jerry Henry, executive director of Georgiacarry.org, said the group simply pointed out that it had successfully litigated similar cases. He said the Georgiacarry.org doesn’t check codes in each city and probably became aware of Sandy Springs’ code after a member notified them.

“We’ve explained to them that it’s against the law that we’ve already been down that road once,” Henry said. “What other choice do they have if they don’t change things that violate state laws?”

State law still prohibits carrying weapons in the following locations, according to Willard’s memo to the council:

–  In a government building

– In a courthouse

– In a jail or prison

-In a place of worship

-In a state mental health facility

-In a bar, unless allowed by the owner of the bar

-On the premises of a nuclear power facility

-Within 150 feet of any polling place

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com