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Zoo Atlanta drops weapons ban after challenge from gun rights activists

The zoo said they would revert their policy back to its "original form."

ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta has decided to change its weapons policy following challenges from gun rights activists and groups, the business said on Tuesday. 

Previously the zoo updated its policy to ban all weapons from the property "in an effort to enhance and protect the safety of our team members, guests and the animals in our care." 

Since that decision, Zoo Atlanta said it has faced questioning from people and groups "advocating the right to carry weapons." 

However, the zoo stated it still agrees with that previous choice to ban weapons from the ground and said that it "is legally supportable and in the best interest of safety."

To avoid what it explained as a distracting and expensive legal battle, Zoo Atlanta said it would revert its policy and allow weapons as permitted by the law.  

The zoo also said it would give public officials a chance to address the issue themselves. 

Read Zoo Atlanta's full statement: 

As was reported, Zoo Atlanta recently updated its weapons policy to prohibit guests from bringing guns onto Zoo Atlanta grounds. This change was made in an effort to enhance and protect the safety of our team members, guests, and the animals in our care. Since that time, the legal grounds for that decision have been questioned by individuals and organizations advocating the right to carry weapons.

Zoo Atlanta continues to believe that its decision to prohibit carrying of guns onto Zoo Atlanta grounds is legally supportable and in the best interest of safety. At this time, however, Zoo Atlanta is choosing not to undergo the major distraction and expense of litigation, but will instead give public officials an opportunity to consider and address this issue. In the meantime, and effective immediately, Zoo Atlanta’s weapons policy will revert to its original form, which allows guests to carry weapons as permitted by law. Zoo Atlanta recognizes and maintains the right to pursue further analysis of this policy.

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