Sunday, September 17, 2023

Atlanta Chili Cook Off - Dunwoody, GA - "We Can Lie Like Dogs" © 2023 Phillip Evans

On 09/15 I posted the comment in the screenshot below at their Facebook page. Just now tried to go to the page, and they have blocked me. As of 09/17 they have not removed "weapons" as a prohibited item from their website.

They had plenty of time to block me on Facebook but didn't have time to reflect the truth on their website that weapons are not actually banned at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody, Georgia, as it is a publicly owned city park. Lawful carriers of firearms and other legal weapons are authorized by state law to carry at public parks. 

This certainly appears deliberate on their part, that they are happy with LYING to the public and misinforming them about weapons being prohibited, when they admitted to me on the phone they are not. "We Can Lie Like Dogs" is just my interpretation of what they may or may not be thinking about this.

The text of my comment above is: "Greetings, almost a week ago a gentleman at your contact phone number informed me that weapons would not be banned at the festival. However, the website still mentions they are banned. Shouldn't it be a priority to give the public accurate information and update your website?"

Wow, was that so offensive to them that they had to delete my comment and block me?

Folks, this is the mentality of those who despise you for being able to exercise your human right of armed self-defense. And believe me, if state law allowed it, they would certainly ban you from carrying a self-defense weapon at the park to keep you and your loved ones safe. Is there a magic forcefield that keeps criminals out of public parks? If not, then we are responsible for our own safety.

Virtually all of the Democrats (and a few Republicans) in the Georgia General Assembly want to grant festivals the power to ban lawful weapons in parks for events. They want folks to leave weapons in their vehicles to be at risk for theft, to be used to harm others. 

Let your lawmakers know you will NOT tolerate the addition of numerous off-limits places for lawful carriers in our state. We are not the problem, criminals are.

Update: 09/18 - Tori Cooper with Atlanta News First called me. She had called the festival organizer and was told they are declining to update their website. They told her that "handguns" would be allowed. So, does this mean they do not consider handguns to be weapons?

This is not a mix-up or a snafu. This is their deliberate misinformation campaign against anyone who might view their website and consider attending. This is how little they think of you and how much they despise giving you accurate information.


Update: 09/18 Part 2 - I just now received the following email - the City will require them to change their website:


After speaking with my Director, we will be contacting the festival organizers to let them know the website wording must be changed or removed in order to host the event at Brook Run Park. In accordance with state law, we cannot restrict carrying on public property and their Special Event permit does not allow them to do so.

Thank you,

Rachel Waldron

Recreation Program Manager

City of Dunwoody

GRPA District 6 Agency of the Year 2021, 2022"

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Illegal Weapons Ban - Arts in the Heart of Augusta © 2023 Phillip Evans

Just when the coast seemed clear on a state weapons law violation in Georgia, we have entered the Twilight Zone. See my previous article on this by clicking here.

Today, I spoke with Lt. Walter Ashley of the Richmond County, GA Sheriff's Office, who informed me that weapons would be banned at the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival this Sept. 15th - 17th. 

As you can see on the festival's website, they have edited it and no longer make mention of guns or weapons. So we're good then, right? Not so fast. It turns out that the Sheriff's Office is under the impression that if there is an admission charge, that they could ban weapons on public property. They believe this to be state law, which is 100% wrong.

State law makes no mention of admission fees or tickets for events held on public property. The only test is whether it is public or private property. If public property, and if not specified as off limits under state law, then lawful carriers are authorized by the state to carry their legal weapons there.

To Lt. Ashley's credit, he promised to forward an Oct. 2019 GA Supreme Court decision that relates to this up the chain, so I appreciate that.

Since the law on this has been well established since 2019, a law enforcement officer detaining or arresting a lawful carrier would not enjoy qualified immunity and would be subject to a federal lawsuit.

The Sheriff's Office illegally banned weapons at the arts festival last year and no one called them on it that I am aware of. 

WRDW News' reporter Nick Viland ran a story on this last night. I spoke with him today and sent him the voice recordings I have of my conversations with Lt. Ashley.

In the video in Mr. Viland's story, GA2A Attorney John R. Monroe explains why weapons cannot be banned at the festival, which is held on public streets and the Augusta Common, also public property.

Mr. Viland was informed by a Captain with the Sheriff's Office that the reason for the ban was that the Arts Council had rented the public streets. This 3-day "rental" is at zero-cost per the document I received from the city. Regardless of any cost, any 3-day agreement would not rise to the level of an estate-for-years type lease where ownership rights are conveyed, as required by the GA Supreme Court's decision noted above.

Update! Lt. Ashley just called me today 09/14, to let me know that the Sheriff's Office gun ban at the festival has been lifted!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Unlawful Weapons Bans At Public Parks in Georgia © 2023 Phillip Evans

Yet another private event organizer in Georgia (Atlanta Chili Cook Off, Nov. 4th at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody) is under the impression that they can ban lawfully carried weapons at a publicly owned park

Brook Run Park | City of Dunwoody, GA (note that weapons are not mentioned on the government website, because they know the law and follow it)

From the event organizer's website:

6. What am I not allowed to bring into the park?

  • Food or Beverages
  • Tents
  • Coolers or picnic baskets
  • Drugs
  • Weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Glass
The Atlanta Chili Festival organizer has been contacted by at least a few people about this, but there has been zero response so far to my knowledge.

UPDATE: I was finally able to get in touch with a gentleman at the Atlanta Chili Festival organizer's phone number, who told me that handguns would NOT be banned. I explained to him that "weapons" included firearms in folks' minds, and that he may want to update their website. He stated that it was not a priority right now, but that he would get to it when he could. I suppose accuracy can take a back seat when it's about our rights, but better late than never. 

Recently, another event organizer, updated their website for their Fall for Wine festival Oct. 7th at Nash Farm Battlefield Park, to remove any mention of weapons.

And before that, the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival also removed any mention of weapons or guns from their website:, after being called on it.

This rash of event organizers believing they can ban the legal carrying of weapons from events held at public parks in Georgia is a mystery, as the state law on this has been settled for years.

Perhaps it is not so much a mystery as wishful thinking. That is, hoping no one will call them on their attempt at deceiving their potential attendees with false information. 

Because they don't trust you to carry firearms at their hosted events, they will stoop to tricking you into not carrying, in spite of what the law says.

Why this wall of dishonesty from adults who should know better? Well, when feelings matter more than facts, I suppose telling lies is sometimes preferred by them to telling you the truth.

There may be other events at public parks coming up in Atlanta and other cities around the state where they are advertising that weapons are banned. They'd be wrong about that, but they may still be determined to violate the law and your self-defense carry rights.

If you are turned away from an event at a public park just for being lawfully armed, or are forced to disarm in order to enter, then please contact GA2A using their website, or via email at as soon as possible afterwards.

Try to audio record any encounter, remaining calm and polite, and do not physically resist anyone preventing you from entering. Get the name of the person denying you entry or telling you to that you must first put your firearm in your vehicle before you can enter.

You could possibly then be accepted as a plaintiff in a legal action against them. To help in this effort, please FIRST become a member of GA2A now if you are not one already.

Article Epilogue: Will the print or TV news media pick up on this apparent misinformation campaign by organizers of events in Georgia's public parks, and how our efforts are making a difference in some cases, by getting them to correct their websites?

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Weapons Bans and LYING TONGUES © 2023 Phillip Evans

Prohibited Items
· Weapons including, but not limited to: Knives, explosives, stun guns, handcuffs, brass knuckles, sticks, clubs, batons, martial arts instruments, pepper spray, tear gas, etc. Guests found in possession of such items will be asked to remove the items from park property or dispose of them. (bold, italics, and underline mine)

How do I know they were lying? Gun rights advocate Jeffry Smith attended the event carrying his firearms openly to show everyone WEBN's deliberate misinformation, that they lacked the authority to ban weapons in Ohio's public parks. He had no issues with law enforcement officers that clearly saw his weapons.

Here is WEBN's Contact page in case they can provide any clarification on what happened. Perhaps it was all just a snafu, a misprint? That could be believable if they had not done this numerous times before.

So why are these deceptions fed to the public by event organizers and the media, with a blind eye from local governments?

Because it is not against the law for them to LIE to you about whether weapons are truly prohibited or not. They want to TRICK you into leaving your guns in your vehicles to be at risk of theft, because they know they cannot ban you from carrying them into the public parks at these events.

No matter how you feel about weapons in public places and at public events, you need to be told the truth. Truth matters. 

What if you are totally opposed to being near weapons (though that might be difficult to accomplish since most carriers of weapons conceal them), and plan to attend a "gun free" event just because the website said weapons are prohibited, only to be SURPRISED to see peaceful carriers with their holstered firearms in plain view once you get there? 

There are at least a couple of large events in Atlanta coming up soon at a public park where lawful carriers are AUTHORIZED to carry at under Georgia law. To be honest, I don't know if their websites are window dressing misinformation, or if they mean to really keep out lawful carriers of guns. 

To my knowledge NO ONE in the news media has asked that question of them. If they decline comment, that should logically be a clue one way or the other, but I couldn't predict it 100% either way.

Another, but smaller example was Atlanta Reggae in the Park, held at Piedmont Park last month. "Weapons of any kind" were banned according to the website, but there was no screening for any prohibited items, and I have it on good information that at least one citizen openly carried a holstered handgun there, also with no issues from police.

I have no plans to attend the large events alluded to above, no plans to sue them, and no plans to threaten to sue them. I will leave that decision up to anyone that is not allowed to enter the park for the events just for being lawfully armed, or entered but were forced to first disarm.

Perhaps you faithful readers of mine could ask your TV and radio news media if they will get to the bottom of whether websites purporting to ban weapons at events in public parks in Georgia, Ohio, and other states where citizens are authorized to carry them, mean to actually ban them or not. 

Shouldn't the truth be brought to light? Shouldn't event promoters have the decency to stop lying to us and give us a clear and honest answer?

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Augusta, Georgia Arts Festival - Weapons Ban Misinformation Campaign © 2023 Phillip Evans

Georgia's "Public Gathering" law was repealed in 2010 with the signing of SB308 by then Gov. Sonny Perdue. This meant that legal carriers of weapons could carry on public property (with the exception of enumerated off-limits places), regardless of public gatherings. And while we still have off-limits places, public streets have never been specified in the law as being off limits to the carrying of firearms or other lawful weapons.

Fast forward 13 years. Houston Augusta we have a problem... The Greater Augusta Arts Council is presenting the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival Sept. 15th - 17th this year, and has the following on the festival's website: 

"Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival is a rain or shine event. Updates regarding inclement weather will be posted to our home page and social media. No Dogs, No Coolers, No Weapons." (Formatting theirs) - HOME - Arts in the Heart (

On the Greater Augusta Arts Council's own website is:

"Pets, guns and coolers are not allowed in the Festival." - Arts in The Heart - The Greater Augusta Arts Council's Arts and Culture Calendar

Destination Augusta (They cooperate with the City via an agreement), aka the ACVB (Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau), has the following on their website: 

"Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival is a rain-or-shine event. Updates regarding inclement weather will be posted to our home page and social media. No Dogs, No Coolers, No Weapons." - Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival (

Looks like all the players involved are in lock step with an unauthorized and unlawful weapons ban. I find it hard to believe that the City of Augusta and their attorneys are in the dark about this. Is 13 years not long enough for them to discover and understand state law on the carrying of weapons on publicly owned property?

Why did the City not nip this in the bud from the beginning and tell the organizers that they can't ban the lawful carrying of weapons. Call me cynical, but I believe it's because they don't want citizens exercising their carry rights at the festival either. They are content and happy with this misinformation campaign. My opinion on this will change if proved wrong.

Those websites above have had their intended effect by spreading this misinformation to the local news media that lap it up and just copy/paste without a single question on whether they have the legal authority to ban weapons on public streets, even if it is roped off or gated and ticketed. Those things are not exceptions in the law, nor should they be, as our right to self-defense on our taxpayer owned property should never be infringed.

"Organizers say pets, guns and coolers are not allowed in the event." - Arts in the Heart festival is ready to return to Augusta ( 

"Pets, guns and coolers are not allowed in the Festival." - Announcement | Dates for 2023 Arts in the Heart Festival | WJBF

Unfortunately, we are long past the days when reporters were real journalists that did their jobs and asked questions. Copyists is all they are now. Who knows? They may revisit this at some point and post an update on their articles.

Could it be that all involved are merely ignorant of the law? Possibly, but I think it's more likely they are simply bold-faced liars.

08/25 Update: The festival's website no longer mentions guns or weapons.

09/13 Update: Richmond County Sheriff's Office plans to bans weapons at the festival in spite of the website change.

The festival organizer's calendar page still mentions that guns are not allowed, as well as Destination Augusta's website is still saying "No Weapons". Perhaps those pages will eventually be updated, but maybe not.

The takeaway is that the organizer finally got the message and at least half-way did something about it.

But mark my words, they would infringe on your right of armed self-defense at their events every time if they had that power. Thankfully, GA2A works with the Georgia General Assembly to ensure that our right to carry on public property is carefully guarded.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Georgia Country Music Festival - Not Banning Weapons After All © 2023 Phillip Evans

Regarding a prior website weapons prohibition at Jim R. Miller Park for the Sept. 1-3 Georgia Country Music Festival, on August 7th, a person on the website with screen name rmodel65 posted the reply below from the festival organizers (Southern Entertainment) on his inquiry:

"We actually caught this oversight on our website over the weekend. We do festivals up and down the East Coast and we flipped the verbiage from our sister fest in South Carolina. This morning at 7 am we updated the website to reflect the correct firearms laws. It was an honest mistake. We are in no way banning or making a hassle for those that are carrying, per the law."

Sounds plausible to me, an honest mistake. And good on them for quickly updating their website and removing the weapons prohibition and following Georgia law, which authorizes lawful carriers of weapons to enter publicly owned city, county, or state parks to attend either free or ticketed events, or for any other lawful reason.

However, Southern Entertainment is "banning and making a hassle" for citizens to be able to defend themselves at their sister fest in South Carolina, at what appears to be a publicly owned beach. I suppose SC citizens can have their rights violated on their taxpayer supported public property.

So while this festival is obeying state law in Georgia, it certainly isn't because they want to, so there's that. Good thing we have the law on our side in this matter.

Unfortunately, there are no criminal penalties for any private entity that illegally bans lawful weapons on publicly owned property in Georgia. There are only civil remedies available. 

A lawful carrier who might sue over a violation of the law and of their rights likely would recover only their ticket cost and maybe a few thousand dollars, if that. Large festival organizers with deep pockets that determine to violate our laws laugh at such possibilities, and plow ahead full steam to do what they want, regardless of what the law states.

It would be another story of damages if a festival organizer's employee injured a lawfully armed guest while trying to keep them out, or while trying to kick them out after they got in and were later discovered to be carrying a firearm or other legal weapon. That could get very expensive for the violators.

Our lawmakers should put teeth into the law to heavily fine and possibly jail any individual that infringes upon the lawful rights of citizens. Lawful carriers have never been the problem, only criminals. We should be able to defend ourselves anywhere that criminals can go, because bad guys don't follow the law.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Independence Day Celebration! © 2023 Phillip Evans

This year, once again, let our American Independence Day Celebration remind the British sheeple that they gave up their chance to have a Right To Keep And Bear Arms many years ago. Now, any armed means of self-defense there, even if it's just a hat pin is generally considered to be illegal. That's just sad.

How very glad I am to not be under their oppressive yoke!

I suppose the people there get what they deserve, until they grow a spine and take their liberty back.

I celebrated this holiday by recently attending a large public fireworks event and carried my holstered pistol in full view with no covering over it, to honor those who bled and died to secure that liberty for us.

My carrying of a visible weapon to oppose evil doers is a good and honorable thing, which is contrary to the view of those who believe only the police should be relied upon to keep us safe.

To be honest, some gun carriers preach that guns must remain concealed, but when pressed on this point all the ones I've encountered finally admit that it should be a personal choice, and not a government-mandated choice. In other words, they oppose any law prohibiting open carry even if they would not carry openly themselves.

And at that very same event I mentioned above, a police officer I spoke with briefly told me he was glad to see me carrying openly. Perhaps hoplophobes should be aware that not all police view themselves as your personal bodyguards, that even many police officers recognize that as human beings we each have a personal responsibility to be ready to save our own lives and those of our loved ones.

While it's a silly analogy, it still holds true - lions and tigers do not have certain appointed members to wear fangs and claws. They all have them. And as long as any criminals are not behind bars, we can assume they have them as well, figuratively speaking. So why not all of the good guys and gals?

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Florida Open Carry Ban Challenged © 2023 Phillip Evans

He had stood at the corner of Baylen and Main streets on July 4th and waved at passing vehicles, and had a camera set up on a tripod. In his front waistband in an inside-the-pants holster was his Beretta .40 handgun. Police arrived and spoke with him, but surprisingly did not take him into custody at that time.

Mr. McDaniels has a license to carry a concealed weapon, but Florida prohibits carrying a visible firearm, except when fishing, hunting, camping, target shooting, or going to or from those activities. And in those exceptions no weapons license is required under the law.

However, 2022 brought us a new ballgame (it actually brought back the original one as intended), with the Bruen decision making it clear that any laws touching on the Second Amendment must be judged in a historical context, which if investigated would show that for at least 100 years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the open carry of arms in public was the norm.

The Founding Fathers never intended for the Right To Keep And Bear Arms to be an inferior right, one that must be hidden from public view as if it were a pariah. Must we speak in secret? Must we secretly associate with others or practice our faith in secret?

On May 5th, 2023, almost a year post-Bruen, the Florida Legislature ended its session with the passage of a permitless concealed carry bill, deliberately leaving the general ban on open carry in place. 

Clearly, Florida Republicans are still delighted to throw you in jail with violent criminals and separate you from your family, just for wanting to keep yourself and your loved ones safe by carrying your visibly holstered firearm as a crime deterrent, even if you are licensed to carry.

This same boot-stomping on the Second Amendment is practiced also by Illinois, Hawaii, New York, California, and Washington D.C. 

Why do Florida Republicans want their state to company with corrupt Democrat states and the District of Columbia in infringing on the right of free Americans to carry as they wish? Why do these Republicans treat us like children as if we did not have the maturity to make our own decisions as we peacefully go about our business?

Carrying a holstered pistol is legal in 46 states for crying out loud, with most of those allowing long-gun carry as well. Citizens in forty-five of those states have had that liberty for many years, with South Carolina recently coming on board with legalizing open carry. If open carry was going to be a safety issue, or a threat to tourism revenue, we'd know it by now. As if trembling over tourism is justification for infringing on a Constitutional right.

I believe they see the handwriting on the wall, that the courts will eventually come in line and strike down this prohibition on our liberty. Instead of the politicians doing their job to repeal this abominable law, they will sit back and let others do it, out of fear and/or laziness.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, for all his bloviating about his support for the Second Amendment, was SILENT as a lamb as the right of open carry was once again trampled in his state.

His criticisms of former President Trump ring hollow, for though Trump was far from perfect (remember "take the guns first", and "bumpstocks bad"), he at least appointed three Justices that helped give us the Bruen decision.

DeSantis's record is clear - Florida still bans open carry, and still has numerous off-limits places to carry, which puts law-abiding citizens in danger and at a disadvantage to armed criminals. And why take three years to remove the license requirement for concealed carry? DeSantis also illegally orchestrated a ban on concealed firearms carry at one of his campaign events. So much for his view of our rights.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Garden City, Georgia - Still In Prehistoric Times Regarding Georgia's Gun Laws © 2023 Phillip Evans

Today, I spoke with a young lady at the Garden City, GA Police Dept., having been transferred there by City Hall. She relayed to me that according to Cpl. Wesley Soroken, firearms are not permitted in city parks or recreation areas, even for those with a "permit", due to their city ordinance.

The Park at Sharon Park, photo by Bellemare, Creative Common License 3.0

And were Garden City (located in Chatham County near Savannah) to be relying on the "public gathering" law, which debatably did not even apply to public parks, that law was repealed in 2008 with the signing of SB308 into law by Gov. Perdue.

Cpl. Soroken relayed to me via the young lady that a firearms carrier could "receive a citation".

Well, it's at least a relief that ignoring an unenforceable ordinance would not presumably risk a face-planting, handcuffing arrest and trip to jail.

I would accept a piece of paper from them if all it stated was, "Please refrain from peacefully carrying a self-defense firearm in the park, even though we have no authority to prevent you, as much as we'd like to have that authority." Because that's all they can legally give you now, and of course, you wouldn't have to sign it.

So, hypothetically, what would happen if a lawful carrier refused to sign their actual citation for carrying a firearm in a park there? An arrest? Who knows? People have been arrested, and sometimes in a violent manner by armed enforcers of the law who did not know the law, and were later successfully sued for damages. 

Georgia law permits the use of reasonable force to resist an unlawful arrest. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm thinking if I was unlawfully grabbed by the arm by an officer, I could pull myself away without incurring a charge of resisting arrest. Not sure I'd want to risk injury though.

Keep in mind those unlawfully writing you a ticket or arresting you merely for exercising your rights are making a mockery of the U.S. Constitution that they swore to uphold.

For at least a minimum of 15 years Garden City has had the chance to get up to speed on state law. Are they that cash-strapped to be bilking their citizens with false citations? What other ways are they abusing their authority?

Perhaps the Georgia General Assembly should enact heavy fines and removal from office for local government officials that thumb their noses at state law.

UPDATE! I received a phone call today 08/17, I believe from the City Manager. He told me that at their last meeting they repealed the ordinance.