As a Georgian, I tend to take a very biased look at Georgia gun news. I think everyone does that to some degree with their local news. After all, state gun laws are the ones most likely to affect us.
However, gun laws in other states rarely stay put. One state passes a law and lawmakers in other states look at it and think, “This is a hell of an idea.” That’s why Florida’s law that raises the age limit on purchasing a long gun is now the law in places like California and Washington (though that was through a screwed up ballot initiative).
Yet that also flies in the other direction as well. One popular pro-gun initiative going around is constitutional carry, the idea that you shouldn’t be required to have a piece of paper that gives you government permission to exercise your Second Amendment rights.
Now, in Georgia, that debate is set to kick off with this new legislative session.
A new year brings a new session under the Gold Dome.
Legislators are just weeks away from officially starting things off at the statehouse, and some proposed bills are already getting attention.
One could shake up Georgia’s gun laws.
“I don’t believe it’s radical at all, I think it’s conservative,” said Tiger Republican state representative Matt Gurtler.
Gurtler prefiled legislation that would loosen the state’s gun control laws.
It’s a bill former Houston County district attorney Kelly Burke supports.
“Good guys with guns don’t bother me — bad guys with guns bother me, but they don’t care what the law is,” Burke said. “So let’s favor toward the good guys with the guns.”
Currently, Georgia is a shall issue state, but that still involves going down to the probate court–which is only open during most people’s work hours, I might add–and filling out paperwork, getting fingerprinted, then getting the background check done.
It’s a pain in the butt.
Constitutional carry, however, would make it so law-abiding citizens can carry their firearms as they please within the confines of other state laws. For example, Georgia requires the use of a holster and this bill isn’t likely to change that. Not much will, as it’s viewed as a safety issue.
Anyway, it’s unlike the bill will end permitting. Most states that have constitutional carry also issue permits for reciprocity purposes.
Meanwhile, I fully expect Georgia gun control activists to start screaming about “blood in the streets,” as is the way of their people. However, we also know that it’s bull. More than a dozen states have some form of permitless carry already on the books, and absolutely none of them turned into a war zone. Georgia will be no different.
What Mr. Burke said in the quoted piece is dead on correct. The bad guys are already carrying without papers, which tells us that permits aren’t doing anything to make our streets safe.
The question then is whether or not this will pass and get the governor’s signature.
Governor-Elect Brian Kemp (he’ll be sworn in on the 14th) has already offered his support to constitutional carry, so then it falls to leadership in the House and Senate to make sure this comes up for a vote. If activists in the Peach State step up the pressure, that is sure to happen too.
So things are looking good on that front, at least.