Archive for the 'Places of Worship Carry Ban' Category

GCO Appeals Church Carry Case

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

GCO has filed an appeal of the dismissal of its case challenging Georgia’s ban on carrying firearms in places of worship.

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Court Dismisses Church Carry Case

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

A federal judge in Macon dismissed GCO’s legal challenge against the state’s ban on carrying firearms in “places of worship.” The court ruled that the law does not burden religion because it does not interfere with anyone’s sincerely-held religious beliefs, despite the fact that one plaintiff testified that “I believe [Jesus’ teachings] require me to obtain, keep, and carry a firearm wherever I happen to be [including] when I am attending regular worship services.” The court ruled the law does not infringe on the Second Amendment because the government has an important interest in protecting worshipers and banning them from carrying firearms is a significant means of doing so. The order may be viewed here.

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GCO Files Reply in Church Carry Case

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

GeorgiaCarry.Org has filed a reply brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit seeking to have Georgia’s ban on carrying firearms in places of worship ruled unconstitutional. The motion should now be submitted to the district judge for a ruling. The brief and other documents in the case can be viewed here.

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GCO Files for Summary Judgment in Church Carry Case

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

GCO has filed a motion for summary judgment in its church carry case against the State of Georgia. GCO filed the case in the Superior Court of Upson County, but the defendants removed the case to federal district court in Macon. The judge in the case, Chief Judge C. Ashley Royal, has indicated he intends to rule on the case quickly and gave the parties 30 days to file briefs raising all issues they intended to raise in the case. GCO’s case rests on the theory that it is unconstitutional to ban carrying guns in churches, especially when guns are allowed almost everywhere else in the state.

GCO filed a motion for summary judgment. The State of Georgia and Governor Sonny Perdue filed motions to dismiss. Upson County and its manager, Kyle Hood, also filed motions to dismiss. The latter motions consisted of a “copy and paste” from the State motion.

Documents in the case may be viewed here.

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GCO Vice President John Monroe on Fox 5 News Debating Church Carry

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Do guns belong in a place of worship?  GCO Vice President John Monroe appeared on Fox 5 News on August 26, 2010 to debate the issue.

Georgia remains one of only four states that maintain an outright ban on guns in places of worship, including Arkansas, Mississippi, and North Dakota.

The story and video of the debate can be found here.

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County Moves to Dismiss Church Carry Case

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

The County of Upson has filed a motion to dismiss GCO’s lawsuit challenging the state ban on carrying weapons in places of worship. The motion, and other documents in the case may be viewed here.

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Judge refuses to block ban on guns in church; case moves forward

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

By Rhonda Cook – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Macon — A federal judge on Monday declined to block enforcement of a new Georgia law that bans guns in places of worship, but he also rejected a request to dismiss the suit brought last month by a group seeking to make the state less restrictive on guns.

“It’s not at all discouraging,” said John Monroe, the attorney who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a minister at a Thomaston church and GeorgiaCarry.org, gun-rights advocacy group.

U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal, in a 30-minute hearing, said he would base his final decision on the outcome of the lawsuit only on the writings submitted by Monroe and the attorney for the state and Upson County, where Thomaston is the county seat.

Royal’s ruling on the case likely won’t occur this summer.  Whatever his decision, legal analysts expect it to be taken to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and eventually to the U.S. Supreme Court.

~Snip~

The case is believed to be the first in the country to be filed after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Groups on both sides of the debate had predicted the next court fight over guns would center on the issue of bringing firearms into churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

“My major concern here is … about the implication that a person cannot take a gun to work,” Royal said.

According to the suit, the new Georgia law — called the “church carry statute” — prohibits Wilkins from having a weapon for protection when he is working alone at the church or when he is on the pulpit. In filings, the minister said he was having “to choose between two constitutional rights.”

“The handgun is the quintessential self-defense weapon in the United States,” the suit said.

Great news would have been for the judge to block the enforcement of the church carry provision.  His rejection of the state’s request to drop the suit is still very encouraging news.

The rest of the story can be found here.

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Hearing Set for 8/23 in Church Carry Case

Friday, August 20th, 2010

GCO has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit seeking to have Georgia’s ban on carrying certain firearms in places of worship ruled unconstitutional. The motion will be heard Monday, August 23, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal at the federal courthouse in Macon. The hearing is open to the public. A copy of the brief supporting GCO’s motion may be found here.

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Church Carry Case Removed to Federal Court

Monday, August 16th, 2010

The State of Georgia and Upson County have removed GCO’s church carry ban challenge to federal court. The case, originally filed by GCO in the Superior Court of Upson County, Georgia, now will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The lawsuit seeks to have Georgia’s ban on carrying guns in churches ruled unconstitutional.

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GCO Sues Over Church Carry Ban

Friday, July 9th, 2010

GCO has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Upson County, seeking to have the recently-enacted ban on carrying firearms in “places of worship” ruled unconstitutional. The complaint alleges that the ban violates the First and Second Amendment rights of plaintiffs, which include besides GCO, the Baptist Tabernacle of Thomaston, Georgia, GCO President Ed Stone, and Tabernacle Pastor Jonathan Wilkins. The complaint may be viewed here.

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