Gun Rights Group Wins 'Botanical Battle' In Georgia Supreme Court

Gun Rights Group Wins 'Botanical Battle' In Georgia Supreme Court

Gun Rights Group Wins 'Botanical Battle' In Georgia Supreme Court

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a gun rights advocacy group representing a member who is seeking to carry his pistol into the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

In a unanimous decision written by Justice Carol Hunstein, the high court reversed part of a Fulton County judge's decision favoring the garden's weapons ban and remanded the case to the lower court.

GeorgiaCarry.org sued the garden for preventing visitors holding weapons licenses from taking their guns with them. The high court's decision means the lawsuit can proceed.

The gun rights group had argued that, although the garden is a private organization, it's located on public land—Piedmont Park—leased from the city of Atlanta. The law allows gun owners with weapons permits to carry in public places—except for beyond security checkpoints at government buildings such as courthouses and airports. Private property owners have the right to refuse armed guests.

At oral arguments in February, the garden's attorney, Michael Brown of Alston & Bird, told the justices that, if they ruled in favor of the gun rights group, other private entities operating on public land could be subjected to the same demand to allow weapons. Brown raised the possibility of guns at Atlanta Falcons games or the College Football Hall of Fame.

Representing GeorgiaCarry, attorney John Monroe told the justices, "If you want to be able to eject people for carrying a weapon, don't lease from the government. Lease from a private entity."