Georgia property owners and leaseholders should support Republican-passed House bill 875. It restores the rights of bars, churches and other property properties to allow patrons to carry firearms on to their property while also allowing them the right to exclude them.
[A previous version of this column had objected to the bill due to flawed legislative summary prepared before final passage. We thank our diligent readers for alerting us to the error.]
While the conservative op-ed voice of the tobacco-Tar Heel state's Charlotte Observer, we denounced the anti-private-property, second-hand-smoke Chicken Little-mob that restricted the right of free Americans to smoke Winstons and Salems in Winston-Salem. Present Georgia law on firearms as applied to bars and churches reminds us of that anti-private-property law in N.C.
Georgia House Republicans should be applauded for passing HB 875:
Under House Bill 875, gun permit holders would be allowed to carry in bars and churches. They'd be protected from arrest if they accidentally bring a gun to the airport. And they'd face a simple $100 fine, rather than arrest, if caught carrying on a college campus. In addition, local school districts would be empowered to decide whether to arm teachers and administrators in K-12 schools.
The bill was passed 119-56. Prior to the floor debate, House Republican leaders prohibited members from proposing amendments to the bill and set a time limit for debate of two hours - an hour each for supporters and opponents. Those against the bill argued it would put a significant financial burden on private property owners and local governments. They labeled the bill an election-year ploy.
One should be able to dictate one's likes on Facebook, but not in my house, bar, church or other property I own.
If one doesn't like the food, smokiness of the atmosphere, sermon-content, artwork on the walls or the presence or non-presence of armed-security, then one doesn't have to patronize the premises. You do not have the right to force McDonald's to deliver a hamburger sans the pickle. The free market has provided such an accommodation, as well as non-smoking bars and security-provided houses of worship. But the 50%+1 mob shouldn't be able to dictate one-size-fits-all uses of private property. America was founded in opposition to such dictatorship.
Recent U.S.Supreme Court precedent has, rightly, firmly established an absolute right to bear arms for self-defense in one's home and a right-to-carry on public property subject only to, as-yet-undefined, "reasonable" restrictions. HB 875 removes unreasonable and probably unconstitutional restrictions.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson