Articles Tagged with Georgia Nightclub Shooting

BouncerSunglassesGeorgia bar and nightclub patrons have a right to feel safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment they are visiting. Nightclub & Bar magazine urges industry owners and managers to take a proactive approach to guest and staff safety, starting with three key steps:

1. Security Starts at the Front Door

Strong lead doormen are vital for maintaining a safe environment for guests. Strong in this context refers to more than physical strength. Doormen must also be mentally strong enough to refuse entry to potential troublemakers. This sounds much easier than it is in reality. Strong security staff members know how to refuse entry to troublemakers and diffuse potential altercations with people who believe they are entitled to enter your venue. When intoxicated people feel any kind of emotion that resembles rejection, they can sometimes become hostile. This is where having a head doorman with quick wits and street smarts comes into play; vigilant head doormen can refuse entry to anyone. This includes every category of person who believes they have a right to enter, be it a famous celebrity, professional athlete, gang member, or a person known for drinking too much.

2. Actively Engage & Neutralize Threats

Strong security personnel do not wait for trouble to begin before they intervene. If all the security staff does is break up fights, it is a clear indication that they are not engaging threats before they escalate….Security staff are constantly scanning the environment, communicating with guests and other members of the security team, and identifying potential threats as the night is underway. There are some situations, such men slipping sedatives into women’s drinks, that can appear as innocent as a conversation between regular bar patrons. A great security-minded team can spot these kinds of incidents and neutralize the threats before bad things happen.

3. Work with Local Law Enforcement

Even with a strong security team, there are some bad people who require an assist from law enforcement. Strong security staff know the local police and gang suppression teams, and work to build good relations with them. Sometimes, all it takes is a text message sent to a local police officer to get a known gang-affiliated person who the security staff cannot and should not attempt to confront removed from the premises. With great relationships with local law enforcement, security staff will assuredly have the backup they need to handle these kinds of difficult situations.

Read full article at Nightclub & Bar magazine.

Nightclub Patron Rights

By law, bar and nightclub owners are required to protect all guests legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. Should the property owner or management company fail to provide adequate safety and security measures, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths which occur as a consequence.

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The tragic August death of GSU freshman, Michael Gatto, has rallied many in support of Michael’s Law, a bill which would keep underage patrons and bouncers out of bars. House Bill 152 passed the Georgia House of Representatives on Friday, March 13th and now awaits review in the Georgia Senate.

Connect Statesboro Reports:

Since the death of GSU freshman Michael Gatto at Rude Rudy’s last August, Statesboro has been a hotbed of contention over underage alcohol sales and bar attendance. Police charged Grant James Spencer, then 20 — a bouncer who was at the club but reportedly off-duty at the time — with aggravated battery and felony murder. Gatto had arrived as a freshman at Georgia Southern University about two weeks earlier. Spencer, who was also a GSU student, remains in jail awaiting trial. Rude Rudy’s closed after Gatto’s death, and the club’s owner surrendered his alcohol license to the city.

In response to their son’s death, Gatto’s parents have been working to pass a bill that would keep underage people out of bars and away from alcohol. Last Friday, March 13, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 152, which proposes several changes to alcohol regulation laws statewide.


Here are the bare bones: The Georgia House of Representatives approved legislation to define what bars are, make 21 the minimum age to enter one or work as a bouncer, and place new demands on cities, counties and businesses to report alcoholic beverage violations.


What’s a bar?

According to the new legislation, a bar is a place that derives 75 percent or more of its revenue from alcoholic beverages. The Department of Revenue will be able to look at the monthly sales tax reports of each venue to determine where its revenue is coming from.

Under this definition, Statesboro technically doesn’t have any “bars” — only restaurants that serve alcohol but derive more than 50 percent of their revenue from food sales, or “sports restaurants” required only to have a food permit. However, if any Statesboro venues were to be audited and found to derive 75 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales, they would have to change their status to “bar” and enforce the under-21 restrictions.

The 21 rule

Under HB 152, a person have to be at least 21 years old to enter a bar. That applies to employees as well as customers, although the bill doesn’t explicitly include bartenders or servers.

Bouncers—defined as “individual(s) primarily performing duties related to verifying age for admittance, security, maintaining order, or safety, or a combination thereof” — must also be 21 years old.

Required reporting

Alcohol license holders must self-report any violations of local, state or federal alcohol laws to the Georgia Department of Revenue within 45 days of the violation.Cities and counties must also report any violations within their jurisdiction to the Department of Revenue. The revenue commissioner can issue fines of up to $750 for license holders who fail to report violations


Not exactly. The bill has been passed in the Georgia House of Representatives and still has to go through the Georgia Senate. The Senate could alter the bill or hold off on passing it, meaning it wouldn’t come up again as a potential law until next year. Also, to become an official law, it’s going to need the governor’s signature.

Read the full article at Connect Statesboro and follow House Bill 152 at the Georgia General Assembly.