Gun rights group targets Atlanta gun ordinance

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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ATLANTA —

As the fight over gun control heats up, the attention of a local gun rights group is pointed right at the city of Atlanta.

"Only the State and General Assembly can enforce gun control laws," said Jerry Henry, Georgia Carry's executive director.

Channel 2 Action News has learned the group may take legal action against the city of Atlanta over a local ordinance which bans weapons at "public assemblies" like festivals and parades.

"We believe we should be able to carry anywhere we go to protect ourselves," Henry told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

Edward Stone, the attorney for Georgia Carry, sent a letter to Cathy Hampton, the city attorney, asking that the city take action to repeal the ordinance because state law "expressly preempts all local regulation of the carry or possession of firearms."

Henry said Georgia Carry previously sued the city and won over a local ordinance banning guns at local parks.

The ordinance is rarely, if ever, enforced, said Deputy City Attorney Eric Richardson. Richardson does not believe Georgia Carry would have standing to move forward with the lawsuit. However, he said the city's legal department is prepared to have a discussion with Georgia Carry over the ordinance.

"I am very disturbed by this kind of advocacy, legal jostling. It is ill-timed and is inappropriate," said Atlanta City Councilman Michal J. Bond in response to the potential legal action. Bond is chair of the city's public safety committee.

Henry said it is not clear when and if they will file suit. He said they are waiting for the city to officially respond to their letter.

"We will give them adequate time to answer and then we will go to court," said Henry.