Zoo Atlanta has updated its weapons policy to allow people to carry guns on zoo grounds.
The zoo previously banned people from bringing weapons to the attraction “in an effort to enhance and protect the safety of our team members, guests, and the animals in our care.”
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The zoo said in a statement to Channel 2 Action News on Tuesday that individuals and organizations advocating for the right to carry weapons questioned the legal grounds for the zoo’s decision to ban them.
“Zoo Atlanta continues to believe that its decision to prohibit carrying of guns onto Zoo Atlanta grounds is legally supportable and in the best interest of safety. At this time, however, Zoo Atlanta is choosing not to undergo the major distraction and expense of litigation, but will instead give public officials an opportunity to consider and address this issue,” officials said. “In the meantime, and effective immediately, Zoo Atlanta’s weapons policy will revert to its original form, which allows guests to carry weapons as permitted by law. Zoo Atlanta recognizes and maintains the right to pursue further analysis of this policy.”
Zoo Atlanta is located within Grant Park, which is owned by the City of Atlanta.
In 2014, Georgia passed a law saying guns cannot be banned on public property. Since then, Channel 2 Action News learned that a local man has been challenging the rights of private or nonprofit entities like the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to ban guests from bringing guns when they operate on public land.
It’s unclear if the Zoo’s decision is related to that case.
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In 2022, Music Midtown announced they were canceling the festival over Georgia gun laws.