Atlanta Botanical Garden
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Georgia Carry, a group that’s very effective in defending gun owners’ rights (disclosure: I am a member because they are effective), has an ongoing lawsuit against the Atlanta Botanical Garden over its ban on firearms. Similar to Georgia Carry’s action against the Atlanta Falcons and that organization’s firearm ban, the ABG decision hinges on an odd bit of real estate law: whether the property is “usufruct” or an “estate for years.”

This is all a bit complicated, but stripped to basics, the two are differentiated by the degree of control one has over the property. If the property is “usufruct,” then they can’t ban firearms on property owned by the city. If it’s an “estate for years,” then, as a private entity, they may ban guns on the property.

In GeorgiaCarry.Org et. al. v. The Atlanta Botanical Garden Inc., the Garden filed a motion for summary judgement arguing that . . .

The terms of the lease make clear that the City of Atlanta conveyed an estate for years to the Garden for a term of fifty years.

Private entity…estate for years…ban away. Except Georgia Carry filed their own brief in opposition to that dismissal. It seems they noted an interesting point.

The Garden emphasizes that it does not pay taxes on the property. Plaintiffs emphasize that fact, too, because it is dispositive of the case. Either the Garden does not pay taxes because it has only a usufruct, or the Garden has an estate for years and owes the City of Atlanta and Fulton County over $100M in back taxes.


Really ABG, is the choice that hard? Either respect human/civil rights and allow the carry of firearms or cough up millions in back taxes.

Excuse me, but I need to go pop some more corn.

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  1. Meanwhile don’t go there! Just saw Pat Robertson on 700Club where someone asked him if it’s OK to CC a gat in church. And the pastor is packing. He used to be a total fudd and lecture everyone needed “training” and only cop’s should have guns in a church. Not now…however he chastised the pastor for CC…”a man of GOD(or peace!)shouldn’t carry”. My Baptist pastor carries. Duh…in the New Testament there are NO paid special clergy. FWIW

    • “My Baptist pastor carries.”

      In the Christianity I know, the pastor is supposed to protect the flock. The shepherd in the countryside doesn’t suggest discussing conflict resolution strategies with a wolf intent on a meal of mutton. Dispatch the wolf threat…

    • Carrying of arms is the Christian thing to do.

      He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one”.

      Luke 22:36 NIV

    • Good points, but note that we are not living in the First Century (NT) Church. Since then, an entire NT’s worth of books have been written and canonized, and available to us today. Materials that were not available to those believers. If we want to place qualified people into the position of teaching Scripture, then they need to know the contents, context, and intent of the Bible. Pastors (usually) have their own wives and families to support, so we generally support them financially (something expressly commanded in NT) so they may devote themselves 100% to study and teaching. In today’s parlance, that is a “paid” pastor.

      • I haz an answer…you completely MISSED my point. I know all that. My brother is a Reverend Doctor of Divinity. Carry a gun. And there are still churches with volunteer staff!

      • From Kevin’s comment:

        “He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one”.

        Luke 22:36 NIV

        No matter how much has been written since this or how weapons have changed over time, the principle of self protection is supported in this passage from Luke 22:36.

        • I somewhat agree with cgray, in that anyone who believes in sky fairies might be a little imbalanced.

          Fortunately, I believe in Yeshua, so…

      • cgray,

        Have you honestly examined — with an open mind — the evidence and data that supports the Bible as being accurate and saying what the authors meant to say? I ask this because I have done exactly that with a critical/skeptical mindset.

        Archaeology confirms the places, dates, and people in the Bible. Perhaps more importantly, archaeology has yet to prove any places, dates, or people specifically mentioned in the Bible to be wrong. External writings/texts also confirm many of the places, dates, and people as well as many of the events in the Bible — and are yet to show any such errors in the Bible. Thus, the Bible is trustworthy in that sense.

        Thousands of Biblical manuscripts and manuscript fragments spanning at least 1,000 years and hundreds (if not thousands) of miles show that the Bible is meticulously copied and accurate across that enormous span of time and distance. Thus, the Bible is faithful to the original texts.

        Modern translations of the Bible based on original ancient manuscripts in their original ancient languages are accurate and faithful to the original ancient languages and manuscripts.

        The authors of the Bible are credible when you examine them critically as if you were a prosecutor in a trial. Thus we can trust that the original authors said what they meant and meant what they said.

        The messages of the Bible are internally consistent even though the authors span something like 2,000 years and likely over 1,000 miles of distance. There is no rational explanation for such consistency in ancient times where travel, communications, and especially written materials were extremely difficult, expensive, and time consuming.

        The Bible contains dozens of extremely specific/precise prophecies which random chance cannot possibly explain. The only rational explanation is that the authors somehow had the ability to see the future — something which we cannot explain in natural/physical terms.

        Ancient governments executed several people in the Bible for their public declarations of their faith and for refusing to recant (e.g. martyrs). No one will submit themselves to government execution for a lie or fairly tail. Either those people were nuts or they actually believed their public faith statements. And a critical analysis of those martyrs shows that they were normal/sane in every other aspect of their lives which strongly argues against them being nuts. That leaves us with the only rational conclusion that Biblical martyrs were sane and actually believed what they publicly stated.

        And no, Science does NOT explain the existence of everything without the God of the Bible. When you really dive in — examine the actual evidence and remove the ginormous assumptions — you promptly realize that Science most certainly cannot explain the existence of matter/energy, cannot explain the existence of order and organized structures (from the atom, to molecules, to cells, to animals/humans, to Ecosystems, to the Universe itself), and most certainly cannot explain the origin of everything because no human was there to observe it and we cannot recreate it in a laboratory.

        Let’s make it simple. Current Science tries to explain the existence of everything by claiming that everything somehow came from nothing. That is demonstrably false. Why? Because if there was nothing, that means nothing. People do not realize how profound “nothing” really is in that context because nothing does not even allow for the possibility of something (or everything in this particular case) because the possibility of something is indeed something — which is not allowed if there is a profound nothing.

        What makes far more sense and is far more rational is that something has existed forever. However, all available Science — including compelling evidence — tells us that the known physical Universe has not existed forever, but has an origin. (How long ago that origin happened is a topic for another debate where I can easily demonstrate — using simple principles of widely supported modern Science — that the known physical Universe could easily be only a few thousand years old.) If everything cannot come from nothing and the known physical Universe has an origin, then something had to exist forever — before the known physical Universe — and cause it to exist.

        The God of the Bible is a simple and rational explanation for everything that I listed above. You may not like the God of the Bible and its implications in your life. That doesn’t equate to the God of the Bible being a mythical sky fairy. Of course, I would expect nothing else from your type because insulting people who do not have the exact same mindset as you is standard practice for people like you.

        One last comment: if there is no God, then there is no intrinsic nor timeless value nor meaning to anything — including human life. If that is the case, there is no reason to respect anything or anyone and we might as well rape, murder, pillage, and plunder since nothing matters. Is that really the kind of world you want?

        And yet you claim that my simple, systematic, rational analysis of evidence, Science, and nature and using facts, reasoning, and logic to make sense of it all somehow means that I am nuts and should not be able to own a firearm. Got it.

        • Well that a fairly good exposition of apologetic’s but cgray is a troll. I would posit the heathen are without a true moral compass and without a conscience should never have a gun. I know I’ll get some pushback but I DON’T CARE. Like Lazarus in hell they had a chance. Anyone in North America for sure. “The heaven’s declare the glory of GOD”…

    • Pat Robertson is a quack and a charlatan. No surprise he got this one wrong. Time for him to go take Geritol and totter off to the nursing home.

  2. LOL I have been there a handful of times and had no idea you couldn’t carry there… I’ve been armed everytime I visited.

    • Please tell me, when you have visited, how many gang-bangers were there enjoying the gardens?

    • Yep, I quit going when they got p!$$y about it.

      Never saw anyone that looked like a banger, but did see a fair number of SJW looking females.

  3. Oh, this is classic, regardless of the outcome.

    I am certain the courts will find a way to rule that when conveying the lease to Atlanta Garden, that there is an exception for acts promoting the general welfare.

  4. I am a member of Georgia Carry and can tell you that they do a great job pushing back on local governments when they try banning guns. Some of these local governments don’t seem to understand the concept of preemption, though most do fold when Georgia Carry offers them the option of a day in court.

    • strych9,

      The brief video snippet that I saw looks pretty bad for police. I guess police can try to argue that they thought the “suspect” was going into his vehicle to access a weapon. The problem with that argument, in my opinion, is that police cannot argue a reasonable belief of imminent death or grievous bodily harm without actually seeing what (if anything) the “suspect” was accessing in his vehicle. Is it totally possible that the “suspect” was going to grab a club, knife, or firearm and attack police? Sure! And it is likewise totally possible that the “suspect” was going to grab countless other harmless items — or simply go to sit inside his vehicle.

      Having said that, I have to wonder if the entire event would have been a non-event had the “suspect” that police shot simply stopped, kept his hands outstretched and plainly visible, and answered a few questions from police.

      Look, I will be first in line to vigorously condemn police who “detain” (which is an arrest in my opinion) someone just for grins and giggles — e.g. without probable cause. Likewise, I will be first in line to support anyone — including police — who attempt to determine if and/or who committed a crime at the scene of the likely crime as long as they respect our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

  5. I just don’t get these “Botanical Gardens”. Been thru some. They offer nothing edible. Sometimes flowers and okay, those are nice to look at. But veggies and fruit and nuts and yummy stuff?

    Nope. Just plants growing all over the place. If you want to eat something, you have to leave and find a restaurant.

    What the hell use is a garden that doesn’t grow any food?

    • I guess they have their place. Mostly for city dwellers and school kids. Never considered them a place I’d visit since i live in the country and see trees,bushes and flowers daily. The couple of times I decided to look at exotic flora and fauna I went to Costa Rica. Now that’s a botanical garden.

      • Many plants that grow wild in Florida are toxic or poisonous…
        ricin? the source plant is a weed…found all over the South…as just one example…

  6. Uncommon_sense: Go to today and watch two police officers battle with a guy who is tased and gets away from them, gets to his car door, whips out a gin and shoots both of them. It was a good shoot.

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