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Atlanta Botanical Gardens (courtesy

Now that the Georgia legislature passed their “guns everywhere” bill (as described by its opponents) Peach Tree State streets are running red with the blood of innocents. Or not. Yup. Not. But gun owners still have some heavy lifting to do, as hoplophobic semi-public entitites do what they can to avoid to the carry-on consequences of the Safe Carry Protection Act. To wit: “A Gwinnett County man sued the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Wednesday because he was escorted off the property on the basis that he was opening carrying a gun,” reports. “According to the suit filed by Phillip Evans and the gun rights group . . .

Evans called the gardens in August to ask about the policy concerning weapons and followed the phone conversation up with two emails to verify what from Jason Diem, a member of the gardens’ management team, had told him. “The Garden’s policy is no weapons except as permitted by law,” Diem responded, according to the suit filed in Fulton State Court.”

So Mr. Evans openly carried his firearm during a visit to the Gardens. Hakuna mutata. But then . . .

When Evans came back to the gardens on the edge of Piedmont Park a week later with his wife and two children, (again) openly wearing his gun in a holster, Diem told him he could not have his gun with him.

The police were called and Evans was escorted to his car and told to leave, according to the suit.

Evans followed up with an emailed question about Botanical Gardens policy to Mary Pat Matheson, president and CEO, and she responded on Oct. 22 that only police officers can be armed while on the property.

“Evans intends to continue to visit the gardens and desires to carry a weapon while he does so,” the lawsuit said.

Monroe said Evans wanted to bring his gun “for the same reason anybody wants to carry a gun; for self defense.”

The suit points out that the law allows private property owners and lessees of private property to ban guns from their premises, but public property owners and lessees of public property can not. Watch this space.

[Note: this is not Mr. Evans’ first pro-open carry lawsuit rodeo. A couple of months ago, Evans filed suit against a Gwinnett County school district for banning him from carrying his firearm onto school property. An effort that got‘s proverbial knickers in a metaphorical twist.]

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    • This! You, sir, win the internet, today.

      Oh. But, what happens if the gun show proprietor ask the botanists brandishing flowers to leave?

        • Good one 🙂 Ralph is on a roll today…

          Now some anti is going to see this and say “See that, the only thing those gun nuts ever think about is violence!” 🙂

        • Good job Ralph!

          This could be a growing problem it they get away with it.

          It has been years since my wife and I went to that park. It really is beautiful – and yes I use to carry while there (their expertise is in plants, not pistols) so I really did not care what their opinion was. Since I rarely OC it was hardly in issue, glad Georgia Carry got involved. I really need to join back up since my membership lapsed.

  1. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a private non-profit organization, not a government park. They have the right to enforce whatever policies they choose, so long as they don’t receive government funds (I didn’t take the time to research their budget).
    If, however, they are getting government funds, they need to stop discriminating against gun owners.

    • The garden is located on city-owned property (it has a 50-year lease agreement with the city). Therein lies the conflict.

      • Yes, HB 60 changed the code so that private entities in control of public property cannot ban weapons. There have been several groups that don’t want to believe that (Jekyll Comic Con, Atlanta Arts Festival, Midtown Music Festival, Wings Over North Georgia Airshow).

        The law very clearly states that private property owners can ban weapons on private property. The code previously stated that people in control of public property through a lease could ban guns, and it was a way around the presumption statute. Now they can’t. It is that simple. If one of these groups wants to ban guns, then they need to buy or rent private property.

  2. It has been almost 136 days since the expanded carry law went into effect and there have been no bloody shootouts in bars, no blood in the streets and no fatal engagements between licensed CCW holders. Still there has been no retraction, no clarification no apology from Creative Loafing. I am dissapoint.

  3. Management of the botanical gardens seriously intends to waste thousands of dollars defending a lawsuit in which they’re clearly the harm causing party? What a bunch of blooming idiots.

    • I know that the NRA won a judgment against I believe Chicago for all legal costs rightfully arguing that 2nd amendment cases are civil rights cases. (Correct me if I got those facts wrong.). Anyhow, I wonder if a good lawyer could argue that point here.


    So this was a nice park in California with pretty trees, birds, squirrels, etc.

    “Why would anyone need a gun there? If you’re that afraid to feel that you need a gun in a nice park like that, you should stay home. Weapons don’t belong in public parks. What are you afraid of, that the squirrels will throw nuts at you?”

    Well, ask Coach Jose Sanchez. He came to the park unarmed, and when the crap hit the fan, he was LOOKING for ANYTHING he could possibly use as a WEAPON.

    Perhaps next time, he will actually be armed instead of being caught unprepared.

    Sheep-like people actually live their lives believing that being unprepared is preferable to being prepared. Would any of them like to ever be in the position Jose Sanchez was in? Will they ever honestly ask themselves that question?

    Atlanta Botanical Garden is a nice park, too (actually the property it occupies is part of Piedmont Park).

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