In spite of the General Assembly’s decision to allow concealed weapons in diverse places, it appears that Commerce area residents will not be allowed to bring concealed weapons to school or recreation department events.
Responding to changes made this spring in Georgia law, both the Commerce Board of Education and the Commerce City Council are crafting policies to limit the carrying of weapons around youth facilities and events. Police chief John Gaissert outlined the proposal for the city council at its “work session” meeting Monday night.
“The thought was we should be consistent between the schools and the city recreation facilities,” Gaissert said.
The BOE has decided to post clearly-worded signs at points beyond which firearms may not be carried, Gaissert said. Consulting with recreation director Scott Rodgers, Gaissert said, “My recommendation is that we post that sign at the entrance to the double gates going into the (Veterans Memorial Park) field.” That, he said, would not cover the parking lot, in part because vehicles are considered “an extension of the home.”
The policy for enforcing the ban at both school and rec department sporting events will be that when someone is found with a weapon, they will be asked to secure the weapon in a vehicle. If they decline, Gaissert said, they will be asked to leave the event, and should they refuse, he indicated they will be arrested.
Councilman Archie Chaney asked about the policy for government buildings.
“If they have a permit, they can carry a weapon inside a government building, provided it is not restricted access,” he replied, adding that such restricted access “has to be manned by at least one sworn officer.”
He pointed out that it is legal for a Georgia carry permit holder to carry a concealed weapon into City Hall.