Valdosta Daily Times

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July 1, 2014

First day of new gun law leads to arrest

VALDOSTA — On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

“Essentially, it involved one customer with a gun on his hip when a second customer entered with a gun on his hip,” said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

At approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call regarding a customer dispute at the Enmark on the corner of Park Avenue and North Lee Street.

A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.

The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.

He demanded the man’s ID again. Undeterred by the drawn gun, the man paid for his items, left the store and called for police.

Authorities arrested Ronald Williams, 62, on a charge of disorderly conduct, related to the pulling of a weapon inside of the store, according to the VPD. Police confiscated Williams’ weapon and took him to the Lowndes County Jail.  

The police chief said no one can demand a person to show their gun permit. Under the new law, he as police chief and his officers cannot demand to see a firearms permit, Childress said.

“This is an example of my concern with the new gun law that people will take the law into their own hands which we will not tolerate,” Childress said.

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