Monday, June 29, 2015

Lawsuit still smoking over guns at air show

A man who wants to carry a gun into the Wings Over North Georgia air show has appealed a Floyd County judge’s dismissal of his case, sending the issue to the state Supreme Court.

No date has been set for arguments before the high court in the case of GeorgiaCarry.org and Dan Haithcock v. Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell and Floyd County.

“There will probably be oral arguments,” said attorney John Monroe, who represents Haithcock.

Superior Court Judge Walter Matthews last October denied GeorgiaCarry.org and Dan Haithcock’s attempt to carry a firearm into the annual air show at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.

Matthews’ decision, however, only stopped the attempt for the 2014 show. The lawsuit kept moving through the court system, until the judge dismissed the entire complaint in April.

This year’s air show is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4.

“The case shouldn’t have been dismissed,” Monroe said. “It was still going on.”

Monroe has said that a private property owner can restrict guns from his or her property. That same restriction doesn’t exist on public property such as an airport.

Matthews, however, ruled that someone who rents public property can impose a weapon prohibition.

“That’s illegal under state law,” Monroe said.

Haithcock, who is from Cumming, told Matthews he regularly carries a firearm for protection.

County Attorney Wade Hoyt III isn’t representing the county in the case, though he’s monitoring its movement through the courts.

“This is still a sticky question,” Hoyt said. “It’s still up in the air whether local governments can preclude people from carrying weapons at local gatherings.”

Source: http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com

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