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Philips Arena may not be able to ban guns

Georgia's new gun law, which allows guns to be carried in more public places , takes effect July 1, but the thought of guns being in the audience has caused one performer to consider canceling a Macon show, reports Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Crystal Jones, senior assistant attorney for the Macon-Bibb County government, says the new law allows guns in any government-owned buildings that do not have security checkpoints at entrances, including the Macon Centreplex and Macon City Auditorium.

Because there are no "government meetings taking place in those facilities, they don't constitute a government building which is able to have security personnel screening," says Jones, who says Philips Arena in Atlanta can't screen for weapons either since it is owned by the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority.

Turner Field can ban guns after July 1 because the recreation authority has its offices there, thus qualifying the facility as a "government office."

People can be checked for guns in publicly-owned venues only if they contain government offices and have metal detectors and certified screeners checking everyone who enters, Jones said in a article.

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Macon-Bibb officials may relocate some government offices to public performance venues so security checkpoints can be used, but that will be expensive said County Manager Dale Walker in the article.

The gun law's architect disagrees with Jones' assessment.

"[The new law] just insures that in a government building with security, nobody has a weapon," said Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper).

Jasperse said publicly-owned facilities can simply erect security checkpoints and prohibit guns if they wish.

In July, the Atlanta Dream's home games at Philips Arena may become a gun law nightmare.





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