Georgia man sues Corps of Engineers for right to carry gun at Lake Allatoona

A Georgia man has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which did not grant him permission to bring a gun to Lake Allatoona.

The suit was filed Friday by Paulding County resident David James and GeorgiaCarry.org, a gun rights group. James is represented by GeorgiaCarry.org Vice President John Monroe.

The Corps prohibits firearms on its property, with some exceptions, such as hunting and with special permission. (Georgia's new guns rights bill, which will expand the number of places where it will be lawful to carry a firearm, does not apply to Corps land.)

On Monday, Colonel Jon J. Chytka denied James' request via email, deciding "not to exercise my discretion under (federal regulations) to grant you permission to possess a loaded firearm while visiting Lake Allatoona," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

He did not give a reason.

Filed in the Northern District of Georgia, the suit asks that the Corps be prohibited from banning firearms.

“It’s my Second Amendment right,” James told the AJC. “Especially while camping, there are lots of people out there and I want it for self protection. There could be snakes and animals and people are drinking at those campsites.”

Should James win, Monroe told the AJC that the decision would apply to every Corp lake in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, including Lake Lanier.

A Corps spokesperson told the AJC that it had not seen the suit, and that it could not comment on pending litigation.