As a born and bred Georgian, I have a great deal of affection for my home state. I didn’t always, but I was here when the state turned the corner on gun rights and started becoming a pretty pro-gun state. There’s still a lot to do, of course, but strides were made.
Unfortunately, pro-gun movement by state lawmakers has basically ground to a halt. There’s been little of note in recent years, and that’s a big problem for me.
To make matters worse, though, Democrats in the state are trying to ram through a red flag bill.
Georgia House Democrats held a public hearing on House Bill 435, otherwise known as “The Red Flag Protective Order Act.”
This law would allow for police or family members to ask a state court to temporarily take away firearms from a person who might be a danger to themselves or others.
State Representative Matthew Wilson told Fox 5 that people on both sides of the aisle want this bill.
That’s troubling to me. It’s not surprising, of course. Red flag measures are the gun control bill most likely to be backed by Republicans, in part because it’s not as potentially egregious as some other measures. It may impact law-abiding citizens, some might argue, but only on a temporary basis.
However, real harm can be caused by these measures. Plus, we know they can be used vindictively. We’ve already have a couple of examples. The last thing Georgia needs are a few examples of our own.
Yet the question is, just how likely is this bill to really pass? Is Wilson just deluding himself?
HB 435 has a whopping six co-sponsors as of this writing. Further, all six are Democrats from around the Atlanta area. None of them represent the more rural parts of the state, areas which are less likely to support any kind of gun control. These are just six Democrats out of a chamber with 180 members.
Hell, there’s only six of the 75 total Democrats in the House sponsoring this piece of legislation.
In other words, it may not be as popular as Wilson might like to believe. Only a tiny fragment of the House has opted to co-sponsor it despite it being introduced on February 22, 2020. It’s had enough time to pick up some traction, to get some sponsors. This is all that it has.
So yeah, it looks like Wilson is flat wrong about what kind of support this bill actually has. However, that doesn’t mean we Georgians can afford to be complacent. Make it a point to call your representatives and let them know how you feel about this bill. That’s especially true if you have Democratic representation. It sounds like many of Wilson’s own party don’t want any part of this bill either, so let them know.
Look, none of us can expect things to work out if we don’t do our part. That means actively opposing these measures with every fiber of our being. If we don’t, we may just end up with a red flag law.