Q May a private entity who leases a county owned and managed property have the authority to prohibit weapons from entering into an event?

A Yes, as a general matter, a lease of public property to a private entity can, and in the absence of either a contract provision or provision of law to the contrary would, grant the lessee the right to control the possession of weapons on the property during the term of the lease/rental. Section 45-9-101(13), though directed towards concealed weapons, supports this conclusion by noting, “[the] person or entity exercising control over the physical location of property can prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by posting a sign…” Absent a reservation of a right in the lease/rental agreement, it is the lessee who is control of the premises. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Criswell, December 5, 2016)