As you already know, Gwinnett County joined 154 other counties in the state of Georgia in complying with Georgia’s preemption law. Gwinnett County, through its County Attorney, sent a polite letter to GCO formally stating that it both amended its ordinance to comply with state law and modified the park signage throughout the county. It would have been nice to have received such a letter prior to GCO filing a lawsuit, but we welcome the letter with the colloquial statement, “Better late than never.”
Archive for the 'Gwinnett County Issues' Category
GCO congratulates Gwinnett County’s Commission on its courage in unanimously repealing its ban on possession of firearms in parks. Today’s Gwinnett Daily Post ran an article on the change, including a quote from the County Attorney who reviewed GCO’s request.
According to information from Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Darren Moloney, the park police logged 828 park checks, 1,140.24 bike miles, more than 200 calls, 110 traffic arrests, 18 alcohol-related arrests, three felony arrests, two sex offense arrests and 20 other arrests in May.
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County Attorney Karen Thomas said the law change, approved by commissioners two weeks ago, simply places the county ordinance in line with state law: while weapons are not prohibited from the park, discharging a weapon is against the law, she said.
GCO dismissed its lawsuit against Gwinnett County today, as it learned that the County Commission, by unanimous vote, amended its parks ordinance to comply with the state preemption law by excepting firearms from its reach. A copy of the amended ordinance is available here. GCO wishes to thank member and Gwinnett County resident Steve Neisler for actively and politely pursuing this issue with his commissioner.
GCO is commencing a lawsuit against Gwinnett County, for the county’s refusal to repeal its ordinance banning carry in county parks. The complaint and previous letters to the County commision may be viewed here:
As many of you already know, GCO has been urging Gwinnett County to repeal its preempted gun ban since last year, when GCO member Steve Neisler brought the gun ban and the park signs to his commissioner’s attention. The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners first turned this issue over to its parks department, which predictably determined that the ordinance was not preempted. After GCO wrote the entire commission, the county took the issue more seriously, and turned it over to the county attorney.
It has now been three months, so GCO decided to follow up with the county attorney on the status of her investigation into the matter. You may read the letter here.
Complete Gwinnett County correspondence is here.
After Gwinnett County issued a GFL to a GCO member, GCO attorneys followed up with Gwinnett County regarding their policy. The Probate Court has informed GCO that it now is the Court’s policy to issue temporary GFLs in conformance with OCGA 16-11-129(i).
GCO attorneys wrote a letter to the Gwinnett County Probate Judge on behalf of a GCO member, because the judge refused to issue a temporary license to the member. Within hours of receiving GCO’s letter via fax and email, the license was issued. Here’s a link to the letter:
Many of you might recall that GCO member and Gwinnett County resident Stephen Neisler contacted by letter his county representative, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, regarding the county’s preempted gun ban. Within 48 hours, his commissioner contacted Mr. Neisler to assure him the county would investigate the issue.
Since Mr. Neisler wrote that letter, GCO has been made aware that Gwinnett County parks have experienced both a murder and an armed robbery. On January 17, 2007, almost a month and a half after Mr. Neisler wrote his commissioner, the Gwinnett County Department of Community Services finally responded to Mr. Neisler in writing with an assertion that the Gwinnett gun ban was not preempted.
GCO replied on behalf of Mr. Neisler and GCO’s Gwinnett County members on January 25. A copy of the letter was sent to the entire board of commissioners and the county attorney. As you can see, GCO asked that a commissioner or the county attorney contact GCO by February 2, 2007 to discuss whether Gwinnett County will consider voluntarily complying with state law on this issue.
Gwinnett County’s attorney called today to state that her office is working on this issue in conjunction with the Parks Department and that they will amend the statute to comply with Georgia’s preemption statute. GCO will be watching this issue closely.
A 19-year-old man told police Dec. 27 an armed man attacked and robbed him while he was running in Best Friend Park in Norcross.
According to a police report, the victim was jogging near the tennis courts in the park when a black man armed with a knife grabbed him from behind.
The victim told police he tried to run away, eventually escaping after the man took his wallet containing his driver’s license, credit cards and $300.
The victim’s alleged attacker fled on foot in an unknown direction.
Gwinnett has an unlawful gun ban in place in its parks, and Gwinnett’s Yellow River Park has signs posted warning people of the criminal consequences under the county ordinance should one choose to carry a concealed firearm for his or her safety. GCO is currently working to have these signs removed and the ordinance repealed.
Yesterday, a man walking his dog was stabbed in the park.
Dogwalker stabbed in Gwinnett park
By GEORGE CHIDI , SUSAN GAST
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/03/07
An argument between two men walking dogs in a Gwinnett park apparently escalated into a stabbing Wednesday.
The fight left one man fighting for his life at Emory East Side Hospital and the other man in handcuffs. Police have not identified the stabbing victim, nor the suspect in custody.
Police said the victim was not breathing when he arrived at the hospital. The man was taken into surgery in serious condition, said Sheila Adcock, a hospital spokeswoman.
Police believe that the two men had been walking dogs at Yellow River Regional Park at about 4 p.m., said Sgt. Eric Edkin, a Gwinnett County police officer with the county’s homicide unit at the scene.
He said he didn’t think the two knew each other. The victim had been with an unidentified third person during the fight, Edkin said. Police did not say what the argument was about.
Police said the stabbing occurred near the southernmost entrance of the park, which leads to Juhan Road.
The man suspected of the stabbing left the scene, and police arrested him at his home, police said.
GCO needs your help. It is time for Gwinnett County residents to contact their county commissioners and demand that they repeal their preempted ordinance and remove the signs. GCO has confirmed that the local solicitor’s office will prosecute people caught carrying firearms in the park, in spite of the state law preempting this ordinance.
For more information, look here.
UPDATE: Here is Fox5 Atlanta’s television news spot on the stabbing.