Now that the state legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Brian Kemp, Constitutional carry will soon be the law here in the state of Georgia.
As a gun rights writer who was born and raised here, this is a momentous occasion. I may even just walk around the neighborhood openly carrying in celebration once Kemp signs the law into effect, because its provisions will be in force just as soon as the bill is signed, but I want to make sure my local law enforcement understands that too.
The law is a long time coming. It should have passed last year, only someone decided it shouldn’t because of an incident that had nothing to do with carry laws.
Yes, I’m still angry about it.
Luckily, it doesn’t matter. Constitutional carry passed here in Georgia, and that’s a very good thing.
Even if you discount all other arguments, the pandemic alone made it clear that constitutional carry needed to be the law. As courthouses throughout the state shut down, people were cut off from the issuing authority for Georgia Weapons Licenses, which is the probate court. We simply couldn’t get to the courthouse to get permits.
While the state extended existing permits, anyone whose license had lapsed was out of luck.
That should never be the case.
Getting a permit in Georgia wasn’t a terrible burden, all things considered, but it was a burden and one that came with expenses. It wasn’t exactly a five-dollar fee, after all. I knew a lot of people who had a gun they wanted to carry, but had fallen on hard times and just couldn’t justify the permitting fee–the average is $75–so they had to forego carrying. Then there was the wait, which was minimized by law, but some counties were bad about not really caring how long they took to get someone their permit.
That’s not right. It’s never been right.
However, that’s what some people wanted. They want guns for the elite while the rest of us are slap out of luck.
Now, Georgia has decided not to play that game. Now, anyone who meets the legal requirements can carry a firearm without permission. That’s precisely as it should be.
And as someone notorious for letting permits and licenses expire–I once drove on a driver’s license that had expired almost two years earlier and even went through a police checkpoint with it–I’m kind of glad. It means I’m not likely to be arrested because I thought my permit expired next year.
Some will claim the criminals will have free rein, of course, but the thing I’ve noticed is that they’ve been carrying guns just fine without constitutional carry. The old law hasn’t really done much of anything except make it harder for folks who hadn’t jumped through the hoops.
So, to all the legislators who voted for this, thank you. You’ve done more to make Georgia safe than any previous group of officials in the history of the state. Soon, we residents of this great state will no longer have to deal with the government just to get permission for something we should have had the right to do from the start. And to that end, Gov. Brian Kemp, please don’t dawdle and get this bill signed ASAP!