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Posted: 11/21/2008 6:47:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2008 6:51:59 AM EDT by engineer2001]
Churches Seeking Security

Churches around the nation are seeking enhanced security, and some of them are asking members to carry concealed handguns, according to this story on CNN.  Did you know that would be a crime in Georgia?  Why?


Why?  I thought HB 89 fixed that, didn't it?  I was told the only place I couldn't carry now was bars plus public gatherings and anywhere with a sign if I decided to obey the signage.  Is a church a public gathering place?  Aren't they like the mall - doors open, and things happen throughout the day, but it's not just one event with a single start time?  That's the way my church is.  As long as someone's there before or after any services or study, the doors are open.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:38:10 AM EDT
HB89 did alot and is a tremendous improvement ... public parks, public transit, restrurants that serve alcohol.   However the Public Gathering clause still exists which includes churches.   Don't forget that PG covers not only carry in the church but also the parking lot.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:41:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2008 7:42:24 AM EDT by engineer2001]
Bu don't public gatherings have distinct start times?  My church doesn't.  Sunday school generally starts at 10 and service starts at 11 Sunday mornings, but that's akin to a sale at Macy's starting at 10 when the doors have been open for an hour or two already.  Come or go as you please, but you can stay for the service if you'd like.  I understood that to not be a public gathering.

When are we going to get this public gathering crap sorted out and get a better definition and/or exhaustive listing?
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 10:40:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By engineer2001:
Bu don't public gatherings have distinct start times?  My church doesn't.  Sunday school generally starts at 10 and service starts at 11 Sunday mornings, but that's akin to a sale at Macy's starting at 10 when the doors have been open for an hour or two already.  Come or go as you please, but you can stay for the service if you'd like.  I understood that to not be a public gathering.

When are we going to get this public gathering crap sorted out and get a better definition and/or exhaustive listing?



Not really.  PG is broader than most people are aware.  It got that way through alot of bad court case over the years.  "Churches and Church functions" mean just that: Church buildings and the parking lots.   It doesn't matter if a mass is occuring or not.  Its still illegal.  

Do you want to hear something more scary than that?  Church functions can be considered bible studies in your own home.   If you have guns in the house and invite your church friends over for a prayer session, we'll then you've carried a weapon to a Church Function and need to call Doug King.   If you think it can't happen, look how a federal judge ruled that HB89 doesn't apply at the airport

The Senate Study Committee on Firearms is looking at this.  There is alot of high power people in the Legislature and Executive branch that oppose church carry.  If you haven't already, write to Senator Seabaugh and ask him to include church carry in the bill that comes out of the commmittee.  

Mike



Link Posted: 11/21/2008 11:21:46 AM EDT
GENERALLY speaking, a public gathering is when people are gathered or may gather for a particular function.  But that definition applies only to the items not specifically listed in the statutes.  Unfortunately, "churches and church functions" are specifically listed in the statute.

Just like publicly owned or operated buildings.  They do not necessarily have a starting time.  They are always publicly owned or operated.  A church is always a church.

And a "church function" can be away from the building.  There is a case that says that an armed man who came across people holding a church service outside at a campground violated the public gathering law.

When are we going to get this public gathering crap sorted out and get a better definition and/or exhaustive listing?


Talk to your state representative and your state senator about this issue, as they are the only ones who can fix it.  It definitely needs fixing.
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