Two Letters to the Editor in Athens wrote:
James Garland: Defending gun lawsuit will waste tax dollars
Story updated at 6:07 PM on Thursday, December 13, 2007
I certainly hope my tax dollars will not go toward defending the Athens-Clarke County government’s prohibition of the otherwise legal practice of carrying firearms in local parks.

As a legal matter, the pre-emption statute incorporated into the state code is clear and unambiguous, as is an unofficial opinion issued by the state attorney general’s office and existing case law. Thus, I have every confidence the challenge to the local ordinance will be successful.

However, given the dictatorial attitude and willingness of the unified government to pursue losing – and expensive – causes in the courts (cases involving the rental registration program, the condemnation of the land for the eastside park, and appointments to the hospital authority come immediately to mind), I am not optimistic.

James Garland

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 121407 wrote:
Terry Joe Sprinkle: Athens-Clarke is wrong on issue of gun control
Story updated at 6:07 PM on Thursday, December 13, 2007

With regard to its prohibition of guns in public parks, the Athens-Clarke County government is substituting its judgment for state law., which has filed a legal challenge to the Athens-Clarke ordinance, is just asking the county to follow state law as written – no more, no less.

The major reason the pre-emption law with respect to firearms was passed in the Georgia legislature was to keep local municipalities from enacting conflicting or arbitrary laws on firearm sales, transfers, Georgia firearm licenses, transport and local ordinances. The latter is exactly what Athens-Clarke County has done.

There are only three ordinances dealing with guns that are within the purview of local governments: reasonable regulations on not shooting in the city limits; on not shooting near major roads; whether government employees can carry weapons or not, and the right to require, or not, that a firearm be in all homes.

Athens-Clarke County clearly has not complied with clearly written state laws on the issue of guns in public parks.

Terry Joe Sprinkle

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 121407