Douglas County ordinance change on firearms in local parks

For those that have asked about the proposed removal of the firearms ban in Douglas County, the proposed changes merely reflect Douglas County’s efforts to comply with state law. It is not intended to flood parks with firearms.

Under Georgia law, “no county or municipal corporation by zoning or by ordinance, resolution or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner…the possession, ownership…, transport, carrying…of firearms or components of firearms….” This law was challenged in the Georgia Court of Appeals in the case of, Inc., et al. v. Coweta County, where the Court upheld state law, which preempted counties from passing local laws regarding possession, ownership or carrying of firearms.

Further, state law list the specific locations where a weapon may not be carried: Government buildings, courthouses, jails or prisons, places of worship, state mental health facilities, bars, nuclear power facilities (with exceptions), or within 150 feet of a polling place. A license holder is permitted to carry in every other location which is not specifically excluded, except private property when the owner or persons in control of the property exclude same.

State law only authorizes counties to regulate the discharge of firearms within its boundaries, which is what the proposed change attempts to do.

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