Atlanta Music Festival Canceled over Inability to Bar Guns from Event

performs onstage during Day 3 of Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest at State Farm Arena on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Atlanta’s long-running Music Midtown festival is canceled this year after host Live Nation found it illegal to bar attendees from carrying guns into the venue.

Billboard reports that the festival was scheduled to be held September 17-18, 2022, “with headliners My Chemical Romance, Future, Jack White and Fallout Boy.”

Live Nation learned that pro-Second Amendment groups pointed to Georgia’s 2014 “Safe Carry Protection Act” and were posed to sue if denied the ability to carry a gun onto the venue grounds.

Breitbart News reported the February 18, 2014, Georgia House passage of the “Safe Carry Protection” Act, noting that the bill opened up bars, schools, churches, and other venues to the carry of firearms for self-defense.

Bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) noted at the time that the effort was to eliminate the number of gun-free zones in the state, saying, gun-free zones were “gun free to the good guys only.”

Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed the bill into law and on April 23, 2014, USA Today indicated that critics denounced it as the “guns everywhere bill.”

Billboard notes that the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling five years after the bill was signed, clarifying enforcement of the law, particularly as it relates to private events held on public property.

The court indicated that “businesses and groups that held certain types of long-term leases for state-owned land could legally bar guns, while businesses with shorter term leases could not.” Billboard theorizes that this ruling placed the Midtown Music festival in a position where organizers were not confident they could ban guns without legal ramifications, so the whole event was canceled.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution observed, “This year’s Music Midtown festival, a showcase event slated to bring tens of thousands of people and big-name artists to Piedmont Park over two days in September, was canceled Monday in part due to the state’s laws surrounding guns in public parks.”

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams responded to the cancellation by criticizing current Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who did not sign “Safe Carry Protection Act” into law.

Abrams said, “Brian Kemp’s dangerous and extreme gun agenda endangers the lives of Georgians, and the cancellation of Music Midtown is proof that his reckless policies endanger Georgia’s economy as well.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange

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