atlanta falcons NFL football
The dirty birds are currently 1-7 and at the bottom of the NFC South. (AP Photo/John Amis)
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If you enjoy law as a spectator sport, get your stadium seat cushion, binoculars, and giant foam finger ready.

Georgia Carry Challenges Atlanta Falcons Gun Ban
On Oct. 22nd, Atty. John R. Monroe sent Falcons General Counsel Mike Egan a letter explaining that the Falcons were not in compliance with state law due to their policy banning off-duty police officers and licensed citizens carrying firearms at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

At issue is whether a private party leasing government-owned property can ban the otherwise lawful carry of firearms there. After all, under Georgia law, while owners of private property can declare a “gun-free” zone, government entities, with certain exceptions, cannot.

This was clearly established in the recent “Georgia Carry, Inc. v. Atlanta Botanical Garden, Inc.” case; the court ruled that the government-owned, but leased Botanical Gardens property cannot ban concealed carry there.

You might wonder how these leases differ from you renting a home or apartment and asking people not to bring a firearm into your home. The difference is “usufruct” . . .

In Georgia, a usufruct is “rights or privileges usually arising out of landlord and tenant relationships, and with privileges granted to tenants holding less interest in real estate than estate for years”. Under Georgia law, if a landowner grants a lease for fewer than five years, the lease agreement is a usufruct, and the landowner retains the estate. Additionally, Georgia court’s consider any relationship between a landowner and a lessee where the restrictions are “so pervasive as to be fundamentally inconsistent with the concept of an estate for years” or the landowner retains “dominion and control” over the business operating on the property a usufruct.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium property is leased to the the Atlanta Falcons NFL football club for 30 years, so you might think that takes it out of the realm of usufruct and into that of an estate, where the lessor can do little things like violate Second Amendment rights. That’s where, I believe, the “pervasive restrictions” and “dominion and control” come into play.

The Atlanta Falcons’ lease doesn’t grant them exclusive use of the property. The city-owned Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) retains the right to control the stadium’s schedule and book their own events like concerts.

As I understand this — bearing in mind that I am not an attorney, and know less about real estate law than firearms law — that element of government control of the stadium property makes it a usufruct owned by a government entity which is not one of the exemptions where government entities can ban firearms.

atlanta mercedes-benz stadium

Today, November 1st, was the deadline given to the Falcons football team to respond to attorney John Monroe’s letter. As yet, I see no formal response, so my guess is that the issue will end up in court.

In the news, Falcons owner Arthur Blank seems to be signalling just that.

The Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, contends the law doesn’t oblige the Falcons to change anything.

“Mercedes-Benz Stadium will continue to operate in compliance with the laws of the State of Georgia and ban weapons from entering the premises,” a spokeswoman tells 11Alive news.

The Falcons’ lawyers will likely argue the “30 year lease point,” while Georgia Carry notes the “dominion and control” issue, and waves the rather convincing Botanical Gardens precedent under their noses.

I expect the Falcons to have the full backing of the anti-rights National Football League, which demands stadium disarmament. They may be counting on having deeper pockets than Georgia Carry.

If you live in Georgia and are not yet supporting GCO, now might be a good time to start (I am a member with no financial interest).

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    • Agreed.

      I would attend MUCH MORE Globalist Sponsored overpriced entertainment IF I didn’t have to submit the the TSA style shakedown by ignorant otherwise unemployable thieves and thugs at the gate as well.

  1. Why would you ever go to an NFL (or other sportsball) game in the first place?
    -it’s expensive
    -the players are mostly black criminals and thugs getting paid millions
    -the owners and players use their money to take away your 2A (Steve Kerr and the Warriors?)
    -the NFL perpetuates the fraud that is college football
    -NCAA student athletes- what a joke, most of these goons are illiterate, raping your daughters at college parties
    -the players won’t stand for the anthem


    go actually play sports instead of watching them

  2. Ive never hesrd the word usufruct. Is that a nice way of saying urfukt? Anyway I dont thinks gunms and directly participating foot ballm fans should be together.

    • possum,

      Almost there but you omitted one word!

      Correction: usufruct it is a nice way of saying, ur so fukt!

      P.S. I had that thought immediately when I first read the article.

    • “Ive never hesrd the word usufruct. Is that a nice way of saying urfukt?”
      I thought it was what the Chief said when given a piece of chewing gum in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, Ummm, usufruct.

  3. As a victim of a black-on-white hate crime, I think it’s time to stop going to Falcons Games. Carry everyday!

    Google “13 do 50”.

    • not exactly true. The black population is about 12-13% of the total pop, and they do have a disproportionate crime rate, but its not 50% or more. For that small a demographic to do that would be near statistical impossibility. However, there is some uncomfortable truth there; they are disproportionate in their ratio of violent offenses. They are the only demographic that is the offender more often than the victim, and the only group that is twice as likely to be a violent offender compared to the general population

      but don’t take my word for it. Open this and go to page 12

  4. What about out-of-state residents who visit the stadium?

    For example, Oklahoma’s CC begins today. Unfortunately, the law is poorly written and is unlike those for other CC states, in which is says an out-of-state visitor must continue to follow the concealed carry laws of his home state while within OK borders. So since CA doesn’t allow any type of carry, I cannot carry when visiting OK, while everyone else can. Even when I visit NV or AZ, I can legally open carry. But not in OK. How’s that for stupid?

    • California does allow CCW. It’s up to the county Sheriff’s Office in the county in which you reside.

      • Then I’ll clarify, for those who haven’t read this from me before:

        I live in Los Angeles County, where CCW permits are the stuff of myths and legend, and occur as regularly as unicorns. Our Sheriffs haven’t issued permits for literally decades.

        I’m screwed.

        • Sounds like usufuckt to me. Id say get out of California but believe me this State I’m int now is horrible, no use moving here.

    • Well, what they don’t know in OK won’t hurt them concerning what you carry, even if CA denies you that right. Just tell them you’re from El Reno and let it go at that. If you’re feeling particularly conscientious about it, just establish a domicile somewhere in OK, get an OK DL to show the address, and you’re covered.
      s/The Old Barracks Lawyer

    • That sounds like a fuster-cluck for police to enforce.

      How do they know what state you are from (without stop and frisk) and how are they expected to know the laws of 49 other states?

      So if someone is from a concealed carry state they MUST carry concealed, and if another person is from an open carry state they MUST open carry? Why purposely make it so inconsistent?

  5. I live in Peachtree City near Atlanta. Also a member of Georgia Carry. Falcons owner Arthur Blank is not going to just follow the law and Georgia Carry likes a good legal fight. If you are so inclined, visit them at and donate to a worthy organization.

  6. What a waste of time and Money a bunch of Drunk red necks with guns at a football game. What could go wrong after Ronnie Red neck drinks a belly full of Bud and get mad at somebody he can stArt shooting! I feel safe with off duty police but not Ronnie Red neck with a gun! It is so easy to get a concealed carry permit in GA! This is insane

    • “Ronnie Redneck” you mean tax paying Citizens, Business owners, trades people, doctors,lawyers, plumbers, Veterans, college graduates, ….. Americans?
      If you despise your fellow Americans perhaps it is time to see a travel agent.

    • Robert Paust,

      There you go again projecting your lack of self-control onto other people.

      I have news for you: 99.9999999% of us who qualify for concealed carry licenses and actually jump through the hoops to acquire concealed carry licenses can drink beer and still have ample self-control to NOT shoot someone for insulting us or cheering for the other team. And yes, that even applies to all the Ronnie Red Necks who qualify for and jump through the hoops to acquire their concealed carry licenses.

      I know that is really hard for you to accept: that so many of us are responsible, trustworthy, and upstanding people. Perhaps some day you will aspire to be responsible, trustworthy, and upstanding as well and finally stop insulting us.

    • if it makes you feel better you can imagine the guy in your dumb AF hypothetical is a hispanic or black man legally carrying. It really doesn’t matter, because whatever race you make him CC types have the some of the lowest violent crime rates of any demographic, so he’ll just be an X race person probably wearing a polo shirt and respectable jeans minding his own business. You tard.

      • Worth noting here, studies have PROVEN that LEOs are more likely to break laws then those who have gone thru the CC/LTC process. Who in their right mind wants the guns taken away from the MORE law abiding gun carriers at sporting events? The criminal element and convicted felons, that’s who.
        Time to start making MORE public places safer for responsible citizens, and leave the criminals wondering who’s strapped. Anyone doubting that would DECREASE crime and assaults needs to GAFC!
        Oh, and a victim of black on white crime here, TWICE in the ’80s, both incidents in NY, a carjacking (perp with bat) and an ATM robbery (2 perps with hunting knives), both thwarted by my Beretta 92 FS. Was fortunate to have the NY connections to carry there in the ’80s, even surprised a few Leo’s during traffic stops.

  7. What’s the NFL? I’m an AMERICAN and will never support kneeling crybabies and their enablers

    • NFL sir stands for National Felons League.
      I wouldn’t care what they did if we weren’t subsiding them.

      • I always thought NFL stood for “No Fu€king Loyalty”, to the team, flag, Country, citizens, honesty, spouses….. Decades ago, players cared about the name on the front of the jersey, now it’s ALL about the name on the back. The NFL (all the way to the top) perpetuates this behavior too.

  8. Edited…

    Thanks, Carl Bussjaeger and TTAG, for running an article on this and including a link to my blog!

    A small point of clarification – if someone can legally carry a handgun in Georgia, they may carry openly or concealed.

    Now what about folks from states where a license to carry is not required? Simple. Practically all such states still maintain their weapons license option so that their citizens will be able to carry in reciprocal states.

    Those citizens, when visiting other states just need to be sure of following the state law of the state they are physically in. This is not a problem with other venues in Georgia, so it should not be a problem when they come to the stadium.

    Our law in Georgia does not allow law-enforcement to demand to see a license to carry, unless there is some reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime is being committed. They are allowed to ask in a consensual encounter, but in those cases you are not required to show it.

    One commentator mentioned alcohol and fans – As far as alcohol infused fans shooting up the stadium, that same argument was used several years ago when it became legal in Georgia to have alcoholic beverages at restaurants, and back in 2014 when it became legal to drink in a bar and carry a gun. None of the “blood in the streets”, or “wild, wild, west” that was predicted by the liberty haters came true.

    People who take the time, trouble, and expense to get a Georgia Weapons Carry License are statistically the most law-abiding citizens there are in Georgia. Twenty years of statistics from Texas and Florida also show that licensed citizens are about six times more law-abiding than law-enforcement.

    Georgia Carry should win this, because even the Atlanta Falcons are not above following state law. A win would also mean that off-duty police officers would be able to carry at the stadium as well. A win would also mean smaller entities currently violating state law on publicly owned property will come in line. We shouldn’t have to go after everyone in piecemeal fashion.

    And this is a slam-dunk for a win, not only because of the terms of the lease, but also because their lease specifically states it is a “usufruct”. There is no wiggle room there at all.

    The one comment that slammed Georgia Carry because its desire for the Falcons to follow state law will cause money to be spent on an anti-American entity is laughable. People who are going there will spend their money there anyway. Georgia Carry doesn’t dictate what people spend their money on, it just fights for your right to carry everywhere it is legal to do so.

    • Well put Phil E.
      I spend my money in states that respect my rights as an honest US citizen, and use my carry insurance phone app to know what the laws are in the states I travel to. I’ve been to Atlanta for the IMSA “Petite LeMans” 10hr races the past few years with both of my sons (who also carry). Well done!

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