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John28226
January 18, 2006, 07:20 AM
Next month I will be traveling to Atlanta for a wedding. I know that SC and Georgia honor my CCW permit, but the wedding will be in a church. Church carry legal? And the reception will be at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mid-town. I doubt that they are posted, but alcohol will be available, not sold.

I will not leave my weapon in the hotel room (we will be staying overnight) and I don't like the idea of locking it in my car trunk. And I will not travel to Atlanta unarmed.

Can any Georgia residents shed any light on my options here?

Thank you very much.
John
Charlotte, NC

gb_in_ga
January 18, 2006, 08:40 AM
Church carry legal?
In Ga? Nope, 'fraid not.
And the reception will be at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mid-town. I doubt that they are posted, but alcohol will be available, not sold.
Unfortunately, not there, either.

From packing.org --
Georgia Code 16-11-127 A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he carries (Police, Military and others listed under GC 16-11-130 are exempt)

* To or while at a public gathering any explosive compound, firearm, or knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense.
* (b) For the purpose of this Code section, "public gathering" shall include, but shall not be limited to, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings, or establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. Nothing in this Code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person licensed or permitted to carry such firearm by this part.
* (c) This Code section shall not apply to competitors participating in organized sport shooting events. Law enforcement officers, peace officers retired from state or federal law enforcement agencies, judges, magistrates, solicitors-general, and district attorneys may carry pistols in publicly owned or operated buildings.
* (d) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this Code section if a person notifies a law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering of the presence of such item as soon as possible after learning of its presence and surrenders or secures such item as directed by the law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering."

And that part of the "no carry" list is not exhaustive, there's more. Check it out in it's entirety at www.packing.org.

Tim Burke
January 18, 2006, 08:41 AM
According to packing.org, and the link provided by them, Church carry (http://www.legis.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/gl_codes_detail.pl?code=16-11-127) is not legal in GA. If you aren't planning on following the law, I wouldn't be asking the question on a public forum.

cmreinke
January 18, 2006, 02:56 PM
Unfortunately, not there, either.

Really?! Why not? The law states: establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premisesSince alcoholic beverages won't be sold at the reception, it seems that it shouldn't be off-limits (according to the letter of the law, anyway).

By the same account, it seems that carrying should be legal in liquor stores, where alcoholic beverages are sold, but not for consumption on the premises. Is my assumption on this correct? I'm very interested in this topic since I recently applied for my CCL and hope get it in a month or so.

-Charles

gb_in_ga
January 18, 2006, 03:07 PM
Since alcoholic beverages won't be sold at the reception, it seems that it shouldn't be off-limits (according to the letter of the law, anyway).
Read the law, and think about what this establisment does.

Just because alcoholic drinks aren't being sold, doesn't mean that they aren't being served. And I would certainly expect that they normally sell alcoholic drinks at the restaurant/bar there (assumed to be there because reception implies such facilities). Logically, it may construed that an open bar (which is what it sounds like they are having) is selling the drinks for no money (not really true, as the people catering it actually are buying the drinks for everyone), as a professional bartender is being employed to serve the drinks in an establishment that does sell drinks -- at any rate, the drinks are actually being sold -- they ain't giving them away for free, somebody's paying for it. And if tips are being accepted (which is normal), then money is changing hands. And just because drinks might not be served/sold at that reception does not mean that they aren't being served elsewhere on the premises. Personally, I wouldn't chance it. Especially not in that part of Atlanta.
By the same account, it seems that carrying should be legal in liquor stores, where alcoholic beverages are sold, but not for consumption on the premises. Is my assumption on this correct?
Since the alcohol isn't being sold for consumption on the premises, then carry is legal.

cmreinke
January 18, 2006, 03:31 PM
I certainly agree that if there is a restaurant/bar at the location (and there probably is) then you shouldn't carry in that establishment; that didn't cross my mind earlier. One exception might be carrying to/from your room (since it is a hotel), however this doesn't apply in John's case. I can also see your point that "the drinks are actually being sold", although itz definitely a matter of interpretation of the law. Unfortunately, you can be sure that the DA interpreting the law at your concealed carry violation trial is going to interpret it that way.:rolleyes:

Since the alcohol isn't being sold for consumption on the premises, then carry is legal. Thanx for confirming that for me.;)

-Charles

Countertop
January 18, 2006, 04:27 PM
Not from Georgia and don't really go to church when I am down there, but I think for this purpose, a wedding in a church is slightly different than the "public gathering" ban on carrying at church.

Normal church services are open to the public and lots of people attend, but weddings are generally closed affairs where the church is being rented or at least reserved for the private guests of a wedding.

Not saying I would carry there, and certainly not without further research on the matter, but it might be an avenue to look into further.

gb_in_ga
January 18, 2006, 04:44 PM
Not from Georgia and don't really go to church when I am down there, but I think for this purpose, a wedding in a church is slightly different than the "public gathering" ban on carrying at church.
Nope. It says: Churches or Church functions. Meaning, if it is held at a church, carry is a no-no. If the wedding is not held at a church but an ordained minister is presiding, then the issue is in doubt, but I wouldn't bet on it being legal -- what with prayers being offered and such.

As an argument against the "private event" nature of the wedding where not just anybody off of the street could participate, well, atheletic and sporting events are also verboten, and they are typically not completely open to the public, either -- they are limited entrance paid admission events. Likewise, political functions and rallies are also liable to be very exclusive affairs that cost hundreds of dollars per seat (or not, it doesn't matter) and/or are by invitation only, also verboten.

John28226
January 19, 2006, 08:16 AM
Thanks very much for the information. GB, I am wondering about your comment "especially not in that part of Atlanta"??? Is Mid-town a "high risk" area?

Frankly I have no concerns about the time in the church or time at the reception. It is the travel to and from that I am uncomfortable about. I spent about 6 months in Atlanta on a case but that was about 20 years ago. I doubt that it has become a "safer city" since then and it was not great at that time.

Again, thank you for any information you can provide.

John

JagMP
January 19, 2006, 09:17 AM
I live just north of Atlanta and Mid-Town is not a "bad" area, there are much worse in Atlanta, but anytime I go down that way I am always on my toes. Pretty good mix of people in that area from the rich to bums on the street. Now if you were down near the Georgia Dome and Centennial Park, thats a whole different story.

John28226
January 19, 2006, 07:18 PM
Thank you, Jag. I appreciate your help.
John

Optical Serenity
January 19, 2006, 07:29 PM
As a cop in metro atlanta, i can tell you this:

Yes, carrying in a church with a Firearms permit (Or in your case, a SC CCW) is not legal. Regardless of function, its in a church.

And for the purpose of the code section, most officers I know wouldn't have a problem with someone who discretely carries into a package store. The spirit of the law is basically to avoid drunks from shooting each other. Do people drink in a liquor store? No, in fact, there is a law prohibiting such an act.

Now, what I will say is this...1, don't violate the law...that being said, if you were to, do not drink. It is a VERY rare circumstance for us GA cops to charge people under the gun laws as we are some of the most pro-2nd amendment guys out there. That being said, its difficult to ignore a drunk with a gun.

So, if you do carry, ever, not just in this case, but ever, don't even take a sip...no champagne, no wine, no beer, no shots, nothing. :)

JagMP
January 20, 2006, 09:55 AM
Your welcome John, enjoy your visit to Atlanta.

John28226
January 20, 2006, 07:29 PM
OS, thank you for the insight and helpful information. Just as a matter of information, when I have my gun on me, I do not drink any alcohol. I think to do so is just bad business. As I said, my concerns were not with the time in the church but the time getting there and walking to the reception. I understand that the distance is about a block and parking is a challenge. In any event, I will not be knowingly violating any laws. I spent to many years enforcing them to flaunt them now.

Well, maybe speed limits on occasion, but that's all.

Regards,
John

Optical Serenity
January 20, 2006, 11:43 PM
John, just as a matter of insight....I personally hate the distance between just about anything in Atlanta, Buckhead, Midtown, etc....and the parking lots. If you can find a place to park for $10 more, by all means do it.

When I go to the Fox I pay the $20 parking fee to park right next door...And almost everytime i go, someone approaches me when I walk out of the Fox.

AirForceShooter
January 25, 2006, 10:43 AM
you sure you're good in SC?

AFS

John28226
January 25, 2006, 12:45 PM
AFS:

Positive. Why do you ask?
John

AirForceShooter
January 25, 2006, 03:13 PM
I'm asking because I have a Florida CCW and it's good in Georgia and North Carolina but NOT S.C.
Packing.org is down right now or i would check it again.

AFS

AirForceShooter
January 25, 2006, 03:33 PM
Rechecked , it seems you;'re good

AFS

John28226
January 25, 2006, 05:44 PM
I do appreciate your concern. Long ago I learned to not accept data that I could not confirm, so, when South Carolina was mentioned as having reciprocity with NC on CCW licenses, I called SLED and discussed this. Now, fortunately, all of the states that border NC have reciprocity as do Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Louisana. That about covers the states that I would drive to. For airline travel I just take my chances as the travel process is just too cumbersome.

Regards,
John