A federal judge on Monday declined to block enforcement of a new Georgia law that bans guns in places of worship, but he also rejected a request to dismiss the suit brought last month by a group seeking to make the law less restrictive.
“It’s not at all discouraging,” said John Monroe, the attorney who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a minister at a Thomaston church and GeorgiaCarry.org, gun-rights advocacy group.
U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal, in a 30-minute hearing, said he would base his final decision on the outcome of the lawsuit only on the writings submitted by Monroe and the attorney for the state and Upson County, where Thomaston is the county seat.
Royal’s ruling on the case likely won’t occur this summer. Whatever his decision, legal analysts expect it to be taken to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and eventually to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In June, the Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, in McDonald v. Chicago and reaffirmed that it was an individual right. The court did not weigh on what was or wasn’t acceptable regulation, just that a state or municipality could not regulate it out of existence.