The Atlanta Police Department is planning a strong law enforcement presence at tomorrow’s Fourth of July events, but issued a clarification this morning concerning guns at Piedmont Park during the Peachtree Road Race.

APD are asking that visitors and spectators to the road race and other Fourth of July festivities to not bring backpacks to these events. Piedmont Park will have controlled access following the end of the road race where people and the items they carry will be subject to search and screened for explosives. However,  “no persons in possession of weapons and/or long guns will be denied entry,” read the clarification emailed to local media. Allowing guns comes on the heels of a new open carry law that went into effect on July 1.

“We have been planning for this weekend since July 2013 and we are prepared to keep the citizens and visitors safe as they attend these City of Atlanta annual events,” Police Chief George Turner said.

Expect to see a large police presence at events including the road race, fireworks at Centennial Olympic Park and Lenox Square and at Turner Field. A 24-hour Joint Operation Center will open at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters and state of the art cameras be used to monitor activities at events. APD’s Mounted Patrol along with undercover officers will also be present to assist with crowd control.

Attendees of all Fourth of July events are urged to call 9-1-1 or approach a police officer if they see any suspicious activity or a suspicious package left unattended.

Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.