Not only was Georgia lawman Jack Gilroy on duty and dressed in his uniform when he approached the entrance to Atlanta’s Fox Theater recently, he was there to escort a group of dozens of elementary school students to a show.
When a security guard noticed that the Butts County sheriff’s deputy had a gun — his service pistol — holstered on his body, however, Gilroy was told he would either have to leave the weapon in his vehicle or wait outside. He chose the latter option, ultimately waiting outside of the venue for almost three hours until the program ended.
Though the security company reportedly called Gilroy to apologize and the Fox Theater released a statement indicating that it will be reviewing its weapons policy, Butts County Sheriff Gary Long made clear his displeasure with this incident.
“How would the owner of the Fox explain if a shooting happened and here’s a Butts County deputy sitting inside the theater without a weapon?” he asked.
He went on to accuse the theater of “obstructing [Gilroy] of doing his job.”
Long explained that his department has provided officers to accompany students on field trips multiple times in the past, adding that it “gives a sense of security to parents at work or home.”