Gregory, who unseated veteran state Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta) in the Republican primary, said that while he filed the bills on Wednesday, he began work on them before the school shootings in Connecticut.
State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) is less than pleased by his proposed legislation.
“The only word that comes to my mind is ‘sad,’” Morgan said. “In a time where people are suffering and in the deepest pain I think this country has felt in a long time, I think this is not the time to start conversations about more guns. Now is the time to start the conversation about protecting kids and protecting people, not more guns, so I’m sad that those bills have been filed, and I just wish that right now we focus on healing and acknowledging the pain that the country is in, particularly the people of Connecticut.”
House Bill 26, The Georgia Constitution Carry Act of 2013, would eliminate the licensing requirement for citizens to carry concealed weapons within the state.
“You would be, according to the state, a legal weapons carrier by default of being proper age,” Gregory said of the bill. “The Constitution carries basically that if you can vote, you can carry.”
HB 27 is called The Restoring Gun Rights During a State of Emergency Act of 2013.
“There is a section of code that defines the emergency powers of the governor, and to be honest it is filled with a bunch of horrible infringements on the people,” Gregory said. “This one simply strikes out his ability to limit the sale and transfer of firearms during an emergency,” he said. “During times of emergency are the times when our liberties are eroded in the name of whatever emergency it is, and time after time government comes up with emergencies to erode our rights.”
HB 28 is called Restoring Private Property Rights for Places of Worship Act of 2013.
“In layman’s terms, that’s church carry,” Gregory said. “The point is anybody that owns property can say whether somebody is let on their property or what should be done on that property. Private property rights are very important. They’re fundamental to all of our rights. And what the government’s done is they have overrun private property rights specifically for places of worship. By striking this from the list of prohibited weapons carry locations, it returns that decision back the private property owner, so a church would be able to say what can and cannot be done on their own property.”
HB 29 is The Campus Carry Act of 2013.
“That is essentially the same thing as the church one, they’re both on the same list of prohibited locations,” Gregory said.
By campus, Gregory means, “the campus of any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university or institution of post-secondary education.”
Gregory said he limited the right to carry firearms to post-secondary education campuses because, “that is what is closer to politically feasible.”
“These laws just make people sitting ducks, and it is incomprehensible to me that we would try and use the government to try and strip somebody of their right to self-defense,” he said. “From a practical standpoint, if somebody was in that (Connecticut) school, say a principal had had a firearm, he probably could have saved many, many lives that day.”
Since the massacre in Connecticut, Gregory said he’s listened as many have proposed eroding gun rights.
“People need to stand up for these liberties right now,” he said. “When there is an emergency or a tragedy, that’s when these sort of things are taken, and it’s fighting tooth and nail to get any small bit of liberty back in this country because for the entire history of our country since the beginning it’s been erosion of our liberties, and people do need to stand up in defense of those liberties, and also beyond that from a practical standpoint the argument of gun control is just not true, it’s a fallacy. You can’t take weapons away from good people and expect that bad people are not going to get their weapons some other way, and then they’re just predators on sheep.”