Last week, the Georgia state legislature approved a sweeping “guns everywhere” bill that is expected to be signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal.
The bill is being called “historic” and is generating a lot of support and of course, a lot of controversy, as The New York Times reports:
Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was critically wounded in a mass shooting in 2011, calls it “the most extreme gun bill in America” and the “guns everywhere” legislation. The National Rifle Association, which lobbied for the bill, calls it “the most comprehensive pro-gun” bill in recent state history, and described the vote at the Capitol on Thursday as “a historic victory for the Second Amendment.”
The law allows gun permit holders to carry weapons into places that were previously off-limits, like bars, airports, and churches.
Here’s what the bill (called HB 60) will enact, according to NRA-ILA:
- Remove fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
- Prohibit the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Create an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Lower the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
- Repeal the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Prohibit a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codify the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
- Require reporting those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing the ability for relief through an application process to the court system allowing for restoration of gun rights.
- State that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
- Strengthen current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
- Remove the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
- Allowing for churches to opt-in for legal carry with only a civil penalty of a $100 if a person happens to carry into a prohibited church unknowingly.
According to The New York Times, the bill was opposed “not only by gun-control groups, but also by the state’s police chiefs association and restaurant association, Episcopal and Catholic churches, and the federal Transportation Security Administration. A majority of Georgians also opposed it, according to several polls.”
Despite the reported controversy surrounding the bill, Governor Deal, a Republican who is up for re-election this November, is expected to sign the bill into law. It is interesting to note that Deal’s Democratic opponent, State Senator Jason Carter, (who is President Jimmy Carter’s grandson), also voted for the bill.
Within the last year alone, 21 states have passed laws that expand the rights of gun owners.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”