FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County's Board of Commissioners has approved a new 8 p.m. curfew for teens 16 and under, an ordinance that comes after a spike in youth gun violence this winter brought curfews to the forefront of local political agendas.
The ordinance will not have a wide impact - it only applies to the roughly one-and-a-half square miles of unincorporated Fulton County - but the Board believes it could serve as a model for the 15 cities within the county.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman, revises a previous curfew rule on the books, which applied to teens 17 and younger from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day Sunday-Thursday and was extended to midnight for Fridays and Saturdays.
The curfew will now apply to teens 16 and under and be in effect 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day Sunday-Thursday. Friday and Saturday will still be midnight.
Unincorporated Fulton County consists of a small tract of land north of I-20 around Fulton County Executive Airport, generally bordered to the east by Fulton Industrial Boulevard, the north by Sandy Creek, and the West by the Chattahoochee River and Cobb County boundary line.
Fewer than 1,000 people live in the area, the county estimates.
The legislation, which was passed unanimously, nonetheless states that the Board "fully supports and encourages all municipalities located within Fulton County, Georgia to adopt uniform rules and regulations regarding the institution of a curfew for unaccompanied minors age sixteen years or younger" following the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. model.
The Atlanta City Council, notably, is considering its own revised curfew ordinance.
Councilmember Keisha Sean Waites praised Fulton County's legislation in a statement on Thursday.
"I’m grateful for Commissioner Khadijah Abdur-Rahman and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for passing curfew legislation on Wednesday. I want to thank Commissioner Khadijah for encouraging the municipalities of Fulton County to follow suit," Waites said. "In Atlanta, I am open to a 10 p.m. curfew, and I look forward to collaborating with the mayor and City Council on the remaining provisions to get this youth safety measure passed."