GCO in News in Newnan

The Newnan Times Herald published a story today (June 25, 2007) regarding the ruling on Coweta’s preempted ordinance and GCO’s notice of appeal. 

Coweta County Assistant Attorney Nathan Lee argues that the law is not preempted by state law.  The county’s rule is authorized by state law and does not conflict with it, he said.  “The county can enact laws that enhance state law,” Lee said on Friday.

(emphasis added).  Well, no, the preemption statute says no such thing.  It states that “No…county” “may regulate in any manner”… the carry or possession of firearms.   The article notes that Coweta County takes the position that another law, the public gathering law, O.C.G.A. 16-11-127, permits it to ban guns in its public places.

Monroe [GCO’s attorney] took issue with that statement in his response to Lee’s motion.

“Defendant quoted all but the last sentence of the subsection, which would have shown defendant’s argument to be legally frivolous.”

The last section of that law reads: “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.”

And the paper observes a rather fundamental error on the court’s part.

According to Monroe, after Lee filed his motion, Monroe should have had 30 days to file a response. “Just a couple of days later, and without giving us the 30 days to respond to the county’s motion, the judge denied our motion and granted the county’s,” Monroe said.

As noted in the article, GCO is appealing this decision, and the law is so clear in this area that GCO is fully confident that the Georgia Court of Appeals will reverse the opinion of the Coweta County Superior Court, which ruled in Coweta County’s favor.  All of the relevant pleadings are available here

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