The following is a video transcript.
Location, Location, Location
When discussing lawful weapons carry at a sporting event in Georgia, it is important to identify what is legal at professional sporting events, collegiate sporting events, and carry-at-school functions. When determining whether carry is lawful in a sporting venue open to the public, we must determine whether this venue is private property owned by members of the public, or government property, meaning a government building.
Public Locations & Private Property
Now as a general rule, Georgia law allows carry by a Weapons Carry License holder in virtually any public location in Georgia, either openly or concealed. When we say public location, consider first those public locations that are private property. This means a Weapons Carry License holder shall be allowed to carry on private property unless the owner or person in control of the property excludes or ejects any individual for possession of a weapon.
Carrying in Government Buildings
What about carrying in government buildings? A license holder who enters or attempts to enter a government building carrying a weapon where egress is restricted or screened by security personnel shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if at least one member of such security personnel is certified as a peace officer, provided, however, that a license holder who immediately exits such building or immediately leaves the location upon notification of his or her failure to clear security due to the carrying of a weapon shall not be guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who is not a license holder and attempts to enter a government building carrying a weapon shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Why It Matters…
It’s important to determine whether the sporting venue you wish to enter with a firearm is private property or government property. If private property, you can carry unless the owner or person in legal control of the property restricts your access with a firearm or defensive weapon. It becomes even more confusing, however, when you actually try to figure out whether the sporting venue is private property or public property.
Now the State of Georgia owns Mercedes-Benz Stadium through the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. A company called AMB Group operates Mercedes-Benz Stadium, so a government building operated by a private company. I believe the important consideration for these sporting venues is how they are secured. Whether the stadium or arena is considered private property or government property, the security measures in place act to restrict in either scenario, the possession of a firearm therein. Either way, I don’t think you’re getting in. If the building is a government building, however confusing that may seem, you could be arrested.
Let’s now discuss collegiate sporting events and school functions. The easiest answer for both, don’t carry, not allowed. For any questions about weapons carry at a sporting event in Georgia, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.