GCO Files Federal Case Against MARTA for Detaining Gun Carriers

GCO has filed a complaint in federal court against MARTA and several members of the MARTA Police Department for detaining people seen carrying guns on MARTA property, temporarily seizing the guns, and refusing to respond to open records requests regarding MARTA policy.  A copy of the complaint may be viewed here.

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10 Responses to “GCO Files Federal Case Against MARTA for Detaining Gun Carriers”

  1. mark5019 Says:

    its a shame when the people who swear to uphold the law ignore the law

  2. coolkat Says:

    I just read this article on AJC.com. I don’t have anything against carrying guns in public as long as its for your personal protection and not too intimidate others or simply “test” the police. But my question is, what is the correct procedure that should be done in this matter? Here’s the reason I ask.

    A few years ago I was management at a theme park and this guy came in carrying with gun in shoulder strap very visible. He was stopped by the police, presented his Georgia firearms license, and driver’s license. They read it and let him go. He forced a young girl behind a building and sexually assaulted her. He then had her walk to the parking lot and forced her into his car. Luckily someone saw him trying to push her into the car and called police. They stopped him and he was arrested. Come to find out that he stole someone’s gun, created a fake firearms license, along with a fake id.

    I was there for that incident, and ever since I am very paranoid when people carry near me. I am pretty sure that this was a very isolated incident, but I just keep thinking that if they had verified his gun permit, then the 12 year old girl wouldn’t been raped.

    So again, I think its everyone’s right to carry publicly if they are legal and choose to. But what is the proper procedure that should have been done for legal verification? How should officers handle it when people carry in public?

  3. choppahead Says:

    Go get ’em John!!

  4. auto80110 Says:

    coolkat, your post can be answered, but in two parts. First is the police in your case either could not or did not check the validity of the firearms license or driver’s license. Second is the fact that that neither government police nor private security can make the earth a risk free environment.

    My suggestion would be to encourage/lobby for responsible and lawful handgun (and perhaps knife) ownership ownership by 12 year old girls. My runners-up suggestion would be to teach girls how to maintain their own personal integrity and judgment. Again, life just isn’t a risk free environment.

  5. MaggieL Says:

    So coolkat… the perp in your case forged a carry permit and driver’s licence, and now you’re scared of people who carry.

    Are you also scared of people who drive?

  6. Mrs_Esterhouse Says:

    Coolkat, I think the responses to your inquiry were more attacks than answers. The Police should have checked his IDs instead of glancing at and returning them. This guy could have been carrying a gun and forged a GBI, FBI or ATF ID. I bet the Police would have spent even less time looking at it, and the same crime would have occurred. Every year I read stories about criminals dressing up in Hollywood police uniforms and robbing businesses and residences. There is no easy way to prevent bad guys from impersonating the Police or a Georgia Firearms License holder, but you can make it more difficult to do so. Calling to check credentials is one way (if ther person agrees to it); improving the security of various IDs is another.

    Right now the Georgia issued GFL could easily be forged at any Kinkos. The state needs to take control of licensing instead of 159 individual counties and it should incorporate security features like holograms, UV imbedded plastic and whatever else is available technologically to help thwart forgeries of GFLs. I believe the security measures should exceed those used in Georgia driver licenses. Measures like the ones I mentioned would have helped in the rape case you mentioned, but the Police should have called in the info to verify it. However, we don’t live in 1929 Germany; unless you have committed a crime or there is reasonable evidence that you are about to commit a crime, the Police have no authority to demand ID from a person (they can ask for it – not demand it). The Police can no longer randomly pull people offer in their cars and demand ID unless that person didn’t signal or was speeding for example. The same holds true for someone walking somewhere with a firearm. The mere presence of the gun does not give the Police “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion” to demand identification; the person must first commit a crime or be under suspicion that a crime is eminent. There is no way to to stop all crimes, but a strengthened ID for GFL holders and better detective work on behalf of the Police would have been in order for the incident at the theme park.

  7. Georgia Carry : An information clearinghouse for Georgia Firearms License issues and news » Blog Archive » MARTA Case In The News Says:

    […] reported earlier that GCO has sued MARTA when one of its members was disarmed and detained for a half hour by the […]

  8. RosebudEnt Says:

    Coolkat,
    I question the validity of your story. It sounds quite sensationalized to me. Most theme parks in Georgia, that I’m aware of, usually are quite clear about not wanting guns on their property (Six Flags for example). Currently, the way Georgia law is written, carrying with a GFL to a theme park is against the law (Public Gathering). More than likely, if this story actually took place, the man would have been at the very least detained, when stopped by the police. More than likely, they would have charged and arrested him (16-11-127). I watch the media very closely, especially concerning gun news. I’ve never heard of this story, nor do I believe it actually happened.

  9. RosebudEnt Says:

    PS – Oh, yea, I forgot to answer your question. How should the police handle people carrying in public? If they suspect criminal intent, ask if they have a carry permit. Once a carry permit, along with valid ID is presented and verified, send them on their way.

    In a free society, that is about all they should be able to do. In your theme park “scenario”, none of this would have applied anyway. There would have been no need to see the carry card because the mere fact that he was carrying at a Public Gathering would have been justified reason enough to arrest him.

    If the Public Gathering law ever finally becomes null and void, and a situation such as the one described occurs, the theme park would then be able to exercise their right to tell him to leave his weapon in the car or exit the park. If he refuses to leave, he then can be charged with Criminal Trespass-simple.

  10. brknbnes Says:

    It’s just another reason to conceal carry to me, if you are in a crowd or in a place that it looks funny for someone to have an exposed firearm when there are so many people out there who are programmed to freak out at the site of a gun on anyone other than a cop. Mall employees are supposed to yell GUN GUN if they even see a gun, concealed or open….. How is that right? Usually a person with a legit permit is an upstanding citizen and is on the right side of the law, so why not just ask someone to put their gun away in certain areas, it’s not the law but common courtesy or good manners. They don’t have to arrest the person and ruin their lives. Why do they have to arrest everyone? It seems kinda normal to carry to me and I guess if more people did, then it would be less of a problem and crimes against people would decrease.