Archive for the 'Forsyth County Preemption' Category

Forsyth County Vote REPEALS Gun Ban!

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Success! Last night, the Forsyth County Commission voted to repeal its ban on firearms in county parks. Kelly Kennett and John Monroe were there to speak for GCO. Kelly Kennett is a Forsyth County resident and GCO member who has been pushing this repeal for some time. This success goes to show that people can make a difference through grassroots efforts in their own communities. Congratulations!

Now there are only 7 counties known to ban the possession of firearms in violation of state preemption law.


Second Reading in Forsyth on Repeal of Gun Ban

Monday, December 4th, 2006

The second reading of the Parks Ordinance change will be at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Dec. 7, beginning at 5:00 pm.  This is public hearing number 4 (Item VIII, part 4 on the master agenda). Let’s have some folks attend. Our side will have only a total of 10 minutes.  Thanks to Kelly Kennett for the information.  We will try to obtain a copy of the proposed ordinance ahead of the meeting to avoid any surprises.


Forsyth County First Reading Follow Up

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

You can make a difference close to home! 

GCO member Kelly Kennett, a Forsyth County resident, spoke to the Forsyth County Commission last night regarding its ordinance banning weapons in county parks.  Mr. Kennett was the only member of the public to speak to the Commission either for or against repealing the ordinance.  The questions and comments from the Commission indicated that they do not want people carrying weapons at ballgames, which is already covered by state law, but are otherwise not bothered by the prospect of peacable citizens carrying arms.

The amendment proposed at the first reading last night (instigated by the tireless efforts of Mr. Kennett) is to strike the ordinance code section and place signs in the parks stating that weapons cannot be carried to public gatherings, citing O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.

Mr. Kennett very carefully explained to the Commissioners how ‘public gatherings’ was defined in the law and how the sign phrasing might still be misleading.

When the wording of the proposed ordinance appears in the minutes, GCO will update this post and consider whether follow up communications with the Forsyth County Commission would be beneficial.  The next county commission meeting is November 16.


Forsyth County Public Hearing on Repealing Gun Ban!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Thanks to the diligent efforts of an intrepid local GCO member, the Forsyth County Commission is holding a Public Hearing at which it will have the first reading of an amendment to repeal Ordinance 102, which purports to ban the carry or possession of firearms in county parks by holders of Georgia Firearms Licenses.  The county attorney will be presenting the amendment to the county commission.  The Public Hearing begins this Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.  Further information can be obtained here:

There are only 8 counties with such an ordinance on the books (out of 159 counties in the state of Georgia).  If you live in or near Forsyth County, please attend and encourage the county commission to do the right thing.  Past experience dictates that this issue will not be reached promptly at 5:00 p.m., so if you can only show up late, show up!

Prior efforts on this local issue are here:


Update on Forsyth County Ordinance Banning Firearms in Parks

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

This is an update to this post: 

From the October 10, 2006, Forsyth County Commission Called Meeting/Work Session:

Amendment to Parks & Recreation Ordinance (Ordinance #102)

Ken Jarrard, County Attorney, came before the Board to discuss the need for an amendment to the Parks & Recreation Ordinance (Ordinance #102). In 2005, the Board passed a Parks & Recreation Ordinance. One of the elements that the Parks & Recreation Ordinance provided was that no firearms shall be brought into any Forsyth County owned or controlled park. The reason for that language in the Ordinance was because at that time House Bill 544 was going through the State legislature. The House Bill was not passed. Since it wasn’t passed, we must now default to the existing law. The existing law says County governments cannot speak and is totally preempted on the issue of where firearms can be transported. The Parks & Recreation Ordinance needs to be modified because it contains a provision that is not supportable by state law. A proposed amendment was presented to the Board for their consideration. The offending language will be stricken and replaced with a requirement that at every Forsyth County park there will be a sign that contains the State law. There was a motion by Commissioner Richard and a second by Commissioner Ledbetter to authorize the County Attorney to move forward with the Public Hearing process. Motion carried with four members in favor (Conway, Tam, Ledbetter and Richard) and one member absent (Laughinghouse).

Your link: =812

 If you live in Forsyth County, urge the commissioners to repeal the ordinance, as it is pre-empted by state law.


Forsyth County Considers Change to Ordinance Banning Firearms from Parks

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Forsyth County adopted an ordinance this year banning firearms from its parks, and the ordinance specifically states that it applies to holders of “a concealed carry permit,” by which phrase GCO assumes the county means the holder of a Georgia Firearms License.  Here is the county ordinance in full:

 Sec. 54-5. Weapons prohibited.
It shall be a violation of this article for any person to take into a park or recreation facility any weapon, or to shoot, use, carry or employ any weapon or similar device in a park or recreation facility. This prohibition shall apply even if a person has a concealed carry permit.
(Ord. No. 102, 2-2-2006)

Regardless of what one may think of the wisdom of such an ordinance as a matter of public policy and public safety, Section 54-5 is a blatant violation of the state pre-emption law, O.C.G.A. 16-11-173, which simply does not permit the county to adopt such an ordinance.  Forsyth is one of 8 counties (out of 159 statewide) that has such an ordinance on the books.

Thanks to the urging of a GCO member, Forsyth County is now considering a change to the ordinance.  A hearing has been scheduled for October 10, at which the public will not be permitted to speak.  Link:

If a change is proposed, then the issue will be set for a regular meeting with a public hearing, at which members of the general public will be allowed to speak.  When the date is set, we will post it here, so please check back regularly.