A Republican lawmaker in Georgia is looking to expand gun rights in the state when it comes to carrying firearms. This news comes on the heels of Georgia’s Governor-elect Brian Kemp vowing he will pass pro-gun legislation when in office.
Georgia law, specifically Georgia Code 16-11-126(a), allows gun owners to legally carry in their home, their vehicle, and their place of business without the need for a permit. However, to carry anywhere else, like in most states, a license is required.
According to Politically Georgia, State Rep. Matt Gurtler filed legislation that will allow Georgians, those who are legally allowed to do so, carry without having to pay for one. Though the price for the license varies by county, Georgians must typically pay $75 for the permit, background check, and fingerprinting.
Rep. Matt Gurtler argues the fee is unconstitutional and that it infringes on the rights of Georgians because they’re being taxed to exercise a “God-given natural right.”
“As it stands now, law-abiding Georgians are taxed millions of dollars annually for exercising their God-given natural rights of self-defense,” Gurtler said, according to Politically Georgia. “Under the (U.S) Constitution and in accordance with our Founding Fathers, ‘shall not be infringed’ is a no-compromise statement.”
Though Gurlter filed the legislation, Politically Georgia notes it has a slim chance of passing because the representative has a history of making passing Republican initiatives difficult for his fellow Republican lawmakers. However, the bill, or some variant of it, may pick up steam next year. And with a Republican governor like Brian Kemp in office, there’s a chance the bill could become law.
Politically Georgia states:
While chances of Gurtler’s legislation, House Bill 2, making it through the Legislature are less than slim — he has a reputation in the House as often being the lone Republican dissenter on many of the party-backed initiatives, making him a bit of a pariah in his own caucus — some form of the proposal could gain traction next year.
In Georgia, a carry permit is valid for five years, and it’s recommended that those with a license get it renewed at least two months before it expires. Georgia also shares firearm license reciprocity with 32 other states. And while felons are prohibited from owning firearms or having a carry permit, those who have been committed to a “mental hospital or drug treatment center within the last five years” must ask a judge to approve their application. The judge who will then get a recommendation from a medical professional before issuing the permit.