I’ve always thought of my home state as being pretty pro-gun. While there have always been problems, of course, I watched as a lot of onerous restrictions from the past were repealed.
It was a good time to be a Georgian.
However, it also seems that my native state has failed to continue that march.
A bill that would have loosened Georgia law to allow anyone from any state who has a concealed weapons permit to carry their gun in Georgia failed to move forward this legislative session.
House Bill 218 also would have prohibited gun permitting, gun sales and shooting ranges from being shut down in a state of emergency.
State Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, was a co-sponsor of the bill but could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The bill faced criticism due to its timing. Just two weeks after eight people were killed in three Atlanta-area spas, the bill passed the Georgia Senate 34-18 on a party-line vote with Republicans in support of the measure.
You ever notice how pro-gun bills face criticism due to timing, but any calls from anyone on our side of the aisle to hold off making any anti-gun laws in the immediate aftermath are completely blown off?
Funny how that shakes out, isn’t it?
Anyway, moving on.
As the bill hit a wall, House Speaker David Ralston, R-Ellijay, said the timing of the bill, two weeks after mass shootings in Atlanta and Colorado, wasn’t right for him, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The bill also had gun owner protection rights such as not allowing the governor to take away ammunition, other weapons like crossbows, and reloading equipment such as speedloaders or magazines, during a state of emergency.
“I thought we needed to be very, very sensitive to [the timing of] any gun legislation,” Ralston said.
As a Georgian, Speaker Ralston can bite me.
Oh, I can understand the optics, but guess what? Nothing in this bill would have made life easier for the shooter, for one thing. For another, it’s not like anti-gunners wait around to push for gun control, so why are we playing with one hand tied behind our back.
Again, especially since none of these had anything to do with the shooting in Atlanta.
One of the bits in the bill not talked about much would have allowed counties to develop an online application process for the Georgia Weapons License. We don’t have anything like that now, which means you have to go down to the courthouse, wait to sit down with someone, fill out the application, go get fingerprinted, come back, and then wait for your permit in the mail. Putting it online streamlines the process, making it easier for busy people to get their permits.
While a county-by-county system is less than ideal, it’s still better than what we’ve got.
But we won’t have any of it because Ralston isn’t willing to take a stand for our gun rights because he’s afraid someone up in Atlanta will get their feelings hurt.
Hell, now I’m considering moving to his district just so I can vote against him over this crap.
I can’t remember the last time a pro-gun bill passed in the state. Ralston had a chance and this is what we get.
It’s well past time that Republicans get held accountable for this kind of crap. Don’t count on the pro-gun vote when you can’t be bothered to pass pro-gun legislation, after all.
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