Georgia resort rule leads gun group to seek new event site

Georgia resort rule leads gun group to seek new event site

May 3rd, 2013 in Local - Breaking News

PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - The Georgia resort Callaway Gardens is apologizing to a gun rights group that planned its summer convention there, saying its weapons policy does not permit guns on the grounds.

Now, members of Georgia Carry are trying to find an alternate site for the convention.

The issue came to a head this week, more than two months after Georgia Carry first asked representatives of Callaway Gardens if it could hold its summer meeting at the resort.

Georgia Carry Executive Director Jerry Henry tells WSB-TV that he and another member openly carried their firearms during that February trip and were told it shouldn't be a problem.

"Unfortunately, two team members did not properly convey our weapons policy, which - like many other family-friendly destinations - does not permit weapons on the premises," Callaway Gardens spokeswoman Rachel Crumbley said in a statement.

"In addition, GeorgiaCarry.org's amendment to our contract voided any tentative agreement," she said. "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused GeorgiaCarry.org and its members, and are happy to host them with the adherence to our existing weapons policy."

The decision comes after the gun group's involvement in legislation that would have significantly expanded where Georgia gun owners can carry their weapons. The legislative session ended with lawmakers taking no action on the proposal.

Both the advocacy group and Callaway Gardens said the proposed legislation played no part in what happened, although the gun group's leader said he was frustrated the issue was not ironed out sooner.

Calloway Gardens is privately owned and legally allowed to ban weapons on its grounds. The resort is about 75 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Henry said he is now focused on finding a new venue for the convention, which he expects to attract 300 to 400 members.

Callaway Gardens "can do whatever they want to," Henry said.

"I just wish they had said something sooner," he said.