Temple City Council is discussing how to go about forbidding firearms from being brought into future city council meetings. Per state law, local governments cannot enforce any ban in “government buildings” on weapons carried by citizens who are licensed to carry unless screening is in place.
The discussion comes after one Temple resident was turned away from a meeting earlier this month, after openly carrying a firearm. City officials said he was turned away after making a post to Facebook, urging Temple residents to exercise their freedom to carry, part of a protest against a new policy. The poster insisted the call was not intended as a threat, but simply his right.
On Thursday, Mayor Michael Johnson said he believes that it will be unnecessary for citizens to carry because two armed police officers will be present at every meeting. In the future those officers may perform weapon screenings.
“Going forward I would say unofficially that it’s very likely,” said Mayor Johnson. “That is something that we are going to continue to discuss and since this situation has arisen that is something that we will finalize and get a more structured plan in place.”
In 2014, Georgia House Bill 60 decriminalized the carrying of weapons into government buildings when the government building is open for business and where ingress into such building is not restricted or screened by security personnel.