Seeking to make its parks safer for families and other residents, the City of South Fulton passed a new law making it illegal to draw or brandish weapons on any city property.
Specifically, the ordinance, which was passed Aug. 23, prohibits anyone at a city location or building from drawing a weapon “in an excited or boisterous manner or in any manner calculated to cause a breach of the peace.”
The new law also prevents the brandishing or drawing of a weapon while threatening another person. The law does not apply to cases of justifiable self-defense.
“Our parks should be safe havens for children and families to enjoy themselves, not places where people have to be in fear of gun violence,” according to District 3 Councilwoman Helen Z. Willis, who sponsored the legislation along with District 2 Councilwoman Carmalitha Gumbs and District 6 Councilwoman Natasha Williams.
The ordinance comes after a man was shot to death at Welcome All Park in April as an antiviolence rally was being held nearby.
“We seek to take back our parks and prevent senseless acts of violence like the one in April by stopping people from handling weapons in any manner while on city property,” Councilwoman Gumbs said.
“To ensure safety, we must start before a weapon even comes into play,” Williams added. “Hopefully, we can encourage people to think twice before using a weapon in a dispute. Violence solves nothing.”
Regarding city offices, the ordinance bans weapons in government buildings and city council meetings. It also prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from carrying a handgun.