The NFL has a specific stance on gun at their football stadiums. It’s no guns allowed at any of their stadiums in the United States. A pro-gun association called GeorgiaCarry.org is challenging this policy and it’s gone all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court.
The ruling may be good news for responsible concealed carry holders who are also football fans, and just want to be able to legally carry while they enjoy a Falcons’ football game.
The Ruling Says
The Georgia Supreme Court says that in this gun rights case, the Atlanta Falcons cannot prohibit firearms under state law. In other words, the ban on guns is illegal by the NFL. The reason is that the NFL leases the stadium which is considered “public property” from the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. Private property owners can prohibit guns on their property or businesses, but when it’s considered public, the property is guarded under the state’s laws and has to follow them.
Where the Complaint Stems From
The original complaint was voiced by GeorgiaCarry.org against the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which had a similar policy to the NFL. The Atlanta Botanical Garden also falls under the umbrella of being a public facility because they lease the area from the city of Atlanta. Under Georgia law, guests that have a Georgia weapons carry license (GWL) should be allowed to have their firearm on them in public places.The botanical garden is violating state law by having their own anti-gun policy.
The NFL and the Falcons May Fight the Ruling
In order to keep their no gun policy in place at the stadium in Atlanta, the NFL may have to fight this ruling in court. The NFL also bans all of their employees from carrying any type of weapons in the workplace for personal security. This also includes their players.
In an effort to further improve security at their stadiums they also require that anyone coming into the facilities carry a clear plastic bag, instead of handbag, backpack, or even a fanny pack isn’t allowed. This is an all around effort to prevent people from bringing in not only weapons, but contraband of any kind.
What Happens Next
For now, it seems that the court ruling is clear that the NFL is violating state policy on pro gun rights. The NFL probably won’t change their policy unless they are legally forced to do so. John Monroe, the attorney for GeorgiaCarry.org has petitioned the NFL to eliminate their no gun policy for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and he expects a response by the beginning of November 2019. If the NFL doesn’t respond and change their policy, you can expect that GeorgiaCarry.org will pursue further litigation with the organization.
The Atlanta Falcons play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is located in central Atlanta. The Falcons have only played there now for a couple of years, when this facility replaced the old Georgia Dome in 2017.