Latest Georgia gun bill would make drastic changes in state law
by Don McKee
February 09, 2014 10:39 PM | 3228 views | 5 5 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A bill that came out of a Georgia House committee last week would make drastic changes in the state’s gun laws. It is HB 875 by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper).

The bill “is the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history,” according to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action. And: “This bill seeks to make many changes to benefit law-abiding gun owners, shooters and sportsmen alike.”

Some of the changes per the ILA: “Removal of fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL),” and “Prohibiting the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders. Creation of an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack. Repealing the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

“Prohibiting a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home. Codifying the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports. Allowing school systems to decide whether staff and faculty may carry a firearm on school property, pending approved training, similar to the NRA’s National School Shield program.”

Under the bill, it would be a misdemeanor for a person to carry or possess a weapon in a school safety zone, school function or a school bus. The same would apply to colleges and universities — but instead of the violator being arrested, a fine of not more than $100 would be mandated. The bill would still ban weapons in government buildings, courthouses, jails or prisons, state mental health facilities, the premises of nuclear power facilities or within 150 feet of any polling place.

But a license holder would be authorized to carry a weapon into a government building that had no restriction or screening by security personnel. If the license holder entered or attempted to enter a government building that had restriction or security screening, he would be guilty of a misdemeanor — but would not be if he immediately left the building when notified of the failure to clear security.

HB 875 would allow persons with licenses to carry guns or other weapons into churches or bars — subject to the right of the property owners to “exclude or reject” such persons. You might think of weapons as being guns or knives. Check out the definition in the bill:

“Weapon” includes these things and more: pistol, revolver, dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, straight-edged razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, blackjack, bat, club or “other bludgeon-type weapon” or “any flailing instrument …which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck” or a fighting chain or disc, known as “a throwing star or oriental dart or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser.”

Under HB 875, any or all those weapons could be taken into a church or a bar. That’s enough to shoot down this bill.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
smith & wesson
February 10, 2014
Yipeeeeeeeee!!! The NRA wins, Georgia is going to become a free fire zone. It's about time.
Elizabeth F
February 10, 2014
Why should church or bar carry shoot the bill down?

Were you aware that, as a GWCL holder, I can legally walk into an Applebee's, sit down and proceed to get drunk as a skunk with no legal repercussion? Its been that way since 2010 and I don't recall hearing the media covering any such story. It has created no mayhem at all, in the least. Just because the ability is there doesn't mean it will happen. Laws have no effect on the level of an individual's personal responsibility. If that were the case, there'd be no DUIs.

And churches wouldn't have to allow their congregation to carry in church if they chose to prohibit it. This law simply grants them full private property rights. How is that a bad thing?

Finally, I ask you this: please explain to me and cite specific examples of how a law has prevented a criminal from walking into any prohibited place with a weapon?
Kevin Foley
February 10, 2014
With so many other important issues like education facing Georgia the legislature makes an NRA-approved gun bill as its priority. And Georgians wonder why the state is the laughing stock of the rest of America?

Understand, the NRA doesn't care about gun rights. It's sole purpose as the gun industry's trade organization is to sell as many guns as possible to as many people as possible. If everyone is walking around armed to the teeth, then I too must buy a gun, or so the NRA rationale goes.

You get the government you deserve, folks.
Guido Sarducci
February 10, 2014
Right, Kevin, and people who read your columns get the claptrap and meaningless diatribe they deserve and have come to expect from you.
Phillip Evans
February 12, 2014

You must be kidding, right? Georgia is a laughing stock? Georgia requires you to be licensed in order to open or conceal carry a handgun.

Many other states allow open carry of concealed handguns without a license at all.

Just how many laughing stocks are there in your world? LOL
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