Georgia’s 2013 legislative session begins next week on Jan. 14 and legislative bills in support of second amendment rights are already being submitted for consideration in the Georgia House of Representatives.
Presently, there are four bills in support of the Second Amendment that were posted on Uphold Liberty by Ron Davis, that have been pre-filed for the coming 2013-2014 legislative session. Those bills are HB 26, 27, 28, and 29.
All four of the bills were pre-filed and will be introduced by incoming freshman, Charles Gregory (R – 34) of Kennesaw, Georgia who ran on the 2nd Amendment platform.
HB26 has been classified as the “Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2013”, a straightforward Constitutional carry bill. The 2nd Amendment is your license to carry. Licensing will continue for reciprocity reasons.
The first bill in-part reads, “The General Assembly finds that our founding fathers, in the unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America, acknowledged that the purpose of civil government is to secure God-given rights; As such, civil governments are to punish the criminal acts that deprive their citizens of their God-given rights to life, liberty, and property; The mere potential to deprive someone of life, liberty, or property should never be considered a crime in a free and just society; Evil resides in the heart of the individual, not in material objects; and since objects or "instrumentalities" in and of themselves are not dangerous or evil, in a free and just society, the civil government should not ban or restrict their possession or use.”
HB27 bill, dubbed the “Katrina law” (in reference to firearm confiscation in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina) is to restore “Gun Rights during State of Emergency Act of 2013” which would revoke the Georgia governor's ability to impede gun rights during a state of emergency.
The bill reads, “A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 38-3-51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to emergency powers of Governor, termination of emergency, limitations in energy emergency, and immunity, so as to remove the Governor's authority to suspend the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms in an emergency; to provide a short title; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”
HB28 is intended to restore “Private Property Rights for Places of Worship Act of 2013” which would allow churches to decide for themselves whether or not to allow weapons to be carried on their premises. The bill to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 16-11-127 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying weapons in unauthorized locations and penalty, so as to repeal a prohibition against carrying a weapon in a place of worship; to provide a short title; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
The last bill, HB29 called, “Georgia Campus Carry Act of 2013” would allow weapons to be carried on school grounds. The bill removes public and private colleges, vocational schools, and other institutes of post-secondary education from the school zone law.
Georgia in the past several years has increased the ability of law abiding citizens to own and carry concealed or open carry with much success.
In 2010, Georgia passed some more gun laws in support of the 2nd Amendment. SB 291 allowed people who hold a Georgia firearm's license to have a loaded gun in their vehicles while picking up or dropping off someone at a commercial airport. The bill does not allow license holders to carry the gun outside a vehicle. Also, included was a bill to eliminate Georgia's long-standing law that prevents carrying handguns at "public gatherings."
Georgia also passed a "stand your ground law". In 2006, the Georgia legislature with Senate Bill 396 enacted a “Stand Your Ground” law similar to the one in Texas. The provides that a person has the right to meet force with force, including deadly force, in defense of one’s self, one’s home or other property. These laws provide immunity from both prosecution and civil tort actions.
State Representative Gregory’s hometown of Kennesaw, Georgia made news when in 1982; the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring households to own at least one firearm with ammunition. The law states that its purpose is to “protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants”.
Anna Fifield of FT Magazine reported in 2010, “Almost 30 years after the law was passed, it is still in place and still popular, not least because Kennesaw’s crime rate has remained disproportionately low, even as the town’s population swelled from 5,000 in 1982 to almost 35,000 now. According to the latest FBI statistics, Kennesaw recorded 31 violent crimes – mainly robberies and aggravated assaults – during 2008. In other similar-sized local towns the figures were much higher – 127 in Dalton and 188 in Hinesville. For property crimes – largely burglaries and thefts – Kennesaw recorded 555 while Dalton had 1,124 and Hinesville 1,802.”
Craig Graydon, a police lieutenant in Kennesaw for 24 years told Fifield, “If nothing else, [the firearms law] draws a lot of attention to the importance of crime prevention. Though it will give liberals heartburn, Kennesaw’s gun policy works.”
Whether Georgia State Representative Gregory’s bills pass in the next session is uncertain as Georgia Democrats will give resistance but the bills will most likely receive solid support from firearm owners and the NRA throughout the state.