Woods around Lake Allatoona ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland
On August 18, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy denied a request filed in federal court on June 12, 2014, by GeorgiaCarry.org and one of its members, Paulding County resident David James, to overturn a weapons ban at Lake Allatoona.
Mr. James sought permission to carry a concealed weapon on Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) property while camping and recreating at ACE parks. Mr. James has an official Georgia license to carry a concealed weapon.
According to the original lawsuit, Mr. James contacted ACE officials to request an exemption to the ACE’s ban on weapons at ACE properties:
On May 21, 2014, James sent an email to Col. Donald Walker, the District Commander of the Savannah District of the Corps, asking for written permission to carry a handgun at Allatoona.
On May 23, 2014, Walker responded to James via email, informing James that Allatoona is in the Mobile District and that Walker had forwarded James’ email to Mr. Chytka as the District Commander for the Mobile District.
On June 9, 2014, Chytka responded to James via email, advising James that Chytka had discussed James’ request with Chytka’s own staff and Chytka’s “higher headquarters,” and that Chytka had “discerned not to exercise my discretion under 36 C.F.R. § 327.13(a)(4) to grant you permission to possess a loaded firearm while visiting Lake Allatoona.”
U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy denied the petition to temporarily allow weapons on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property at Lake Allatoona. The judge’s ruling does not drop the lawsuit to permanently overrule ACE’s gun ban.
The Corps prohibits weapons with some exceptions for hunting or by obtaining written permission from a district commander.
Penalties for violating these rules include a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in prison.