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Thread: Thinking in reverse....

  1. #1
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    So.... if it's illegal to OC during "a public gathering", would that make it illegal for someone to begin an event that is considered a public gathering, if someone was already there OCing?

    I mean, it's hardly YOUR fault if a press conference starts up while you're waiting for someone at the airport....

    "You can't move your King there, my Rook is covering those squares. You'd be in check."

    Furthermore, doesn't that prohibit people from getting together while OCing? I mean, the VCDL just had a huge picnic up here, and pretty much everyone was flapping in the breeze, so to speak.

    Wouldn't that make assembling as an OC group illegal under GA law?

    Just some food for thought. Think of it like Chess.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    An interesting twist. I don't think you'd get very far with it, and here's why: most public gatherings require a permit in advance of the event or are otherwise schedduled and the applicable city made aware of it. You do not need to tell the government when and where you are planning to OC on a given day. That's as it should be, but it works against you in this case as the event permit effectively "reserves" that place for the public gathering; you have no such reservation and thus you are in violation of the law even if you were there before anyone actually showed up.

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    Well, what about all the times your LEOs cite "public gathering" when they pester people?

    "Hey, I just showed up to buy some groceries. I didn't think I was popular enough to have a fan base."


    Also, what about the potential restriction on OCers being able to assemble peaceably? I did ask about two different things, there.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    AbNo wrote:
    Well, what about all the times your LEOs cite "public gathering" when they pester people?

    "Hey, I just showed up to buy some groceries. I didn't think I was popular enough to have a fan base."


    Also, what about the potential restriction on OCers being able to assemble peaceably? I did ask about two different things, there.
    Good points. It could be argued that if you did not know about the public gathering and were not participating in it, that you were not wearing arms at a public gathering; you just happened to be there at the time. It might work, it might not.

    As far as a popular public place being a "public gathering", Georgia (which is one of the RTC states best known for prohibiting carry at public gatherings) has case precedent that directly refutes that interpretation. Other states likely have similar case law, but there are no federal rulings concerning it so you'll have to check State court cases. In general, Wal-Mart, McDonalds or any other similar business that is open to public access does not meet the standard for "public gathering".

    For the right of OCers to peaceably assemble while carrying, you're starting to get into uncharted waters there. Most states have laws prohibiting the gathering of armed men for purposes of drill or military organization (which have stood up to SC challenge; Presser v Illinois for example). If a cop decided to bust an OC picnic under that law, you would have to prove it was just a picnic like any other, only with sidearms. Also, it is quite simply wearing arms to a public gathering. You knew about such gathering, you were participating in it. Under the letter of most laws prohibiting such an act, they have you cold.

    Your defensewould bethat the law is overly broad because it does not take into account the purpose of the gathering, which in this case is directly tied to guns. By the same logic, attendance at a gun show while in possession of a firearm would be illegal. That would mean you could not buy or sell a gun at the show (because realistically you'd have to take or have possession of it at the show), nor could you carry a gunfor purposes of testing fit of a new holster or accessory. Quite simply the logic of banning carry at public gatherings when the gun is the POINT of the gathering doesn't hold water, and if the law does not make that exception then it is unconstitutionally broad and should be challenged as such.

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    Well said, Liko.

    Hope this helps you guys down in GA.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    My main question is this: Can I start a "public gathering" held specifically for people who want to gather while open carrying?

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    Jonas Salk wrote:
    My main question is this: Can I start a "public gathering" held specifically for people who want to gather while open carrying?
    ยง 16-11-127.Carrying deadly weapons to or at public gatherings; affirmative defenses (a)Except as provided in Code Section 16-11-127.1, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he or she carries to or while at a public gathering any explosive compound, firearm, or knife designed for the purpose of offense and defense.(b)For the purpose of this Code section, "public gathering" shall include, but shall not be limited to, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings, or establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises. Nothing in this Code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person licensed or permitted to carry such firearm by this part.(c)This Code section shall not apply to competitors participating in organized sport shooting events. Law enforcement officers, peace officers retired from state or federal law enforcement agencies, judges, magistrates, solicitors-general, and district attorneys may carry pistols in publicly owned or operated buildings.(d)It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this Code section if a person notifies a law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering of the presence of such item as soon as possible after learning of its presence and surrenders or secures such item as directed by the law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering.
    I think it's a crap shoot as to whether you're going to convince a judge that a prearranged meeting of OCers, regardless of what you do when there, is not politically motivated. If so, he may hold an OCers' picnic to be a political function. Or, he may hold a more formal definition of same, defined as a prearranged and permitted gathering of an establishedpolitical organization for the purpose of doing the business of the organization. In that case, just like an office party is not a business meeting, an OC picnic is not a political function even if the participants are all OCDO, GCO, NRA-ILA, SAF,etc members.

    I think it would be prudent to ask the Georgia AG's opinion on this matter; he's the guy who sets the guidelines by which your local DAs will pursue or decline a criminal case, and as such his opinion carries considerable weight; not as good as a case precedent, but it also does not involve a test case. As there does not seem to be a codified definition of political rally or function, it could go either way.



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    I believe a gathering of OCers should most likely fall under the same classification of Organized Shooting Sports, as much would be the same with any gun show or NRA event.

  9. #9
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    Well, you could try an Open Cary Dining Out.

    We have 'em up here all the time.

    "We're simply a group of friends that was meeting for dinner. Nobody PLANNED on OCing together."
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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