When Church and State Collide: Can You Carry In a Georgia Dual Purpose Facility?

The following is a video transcript.

Can you carry a firearm at a facility that doubles as both a house of worship and a school? Do the laws of carry change in such a place? What are the laws concerning schools who host houses of worship, as well as churches who have attached schools? Is Sunday school considered “school?”

SCHOOL SAFETY ZONES

From the perspective of a house of worship that houses a private school, here are the rules:

A “School Safety Zone” as defined in the law, is any area “in or on any real property or building, owned by or leased to any public or private elementary school, secondary school, or local board of education, and is used for elementary or secondary education.”

If a school district or private school authority owns or leases a building, it is a school. If the building doubles as a church to hold services, it is still a school. The rules on carrying in a school safety zone apply even when school is not in session.

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HOUSES OF WORSHIP

Conversely, if any house of worship operates a private elementary or secondary school, the location is considered a school and not a house of worship. Normally, a house of worship would be authorized to allow carry by Weapons Carry License holders on their property. If a school exists on the same property, the rules on authorization of carry on school property (which are much more restrictive) must be followed. Now, while “Sunday school” meetings would not fall within the definition of a public or private elementary or secondary school, an organized private school would.

For more information about carrying in a facility that doubles as a house of worship and an educational center, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.

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