The state of Georgia has had a Stand Your Ground law for quite some time. Even before that, though, case law in the state amounted to pretty much the same thing. People didn’t have to try to run from a violent attack before exercising their right to self-defense.
And the state has solidified its pro-gun bonafides recently with the passage of constitutional carry.
So gun rights are well and truly preserved here.
Or are they? It seems a gun rights group in the Peach State is digging in for a fight on Stand Your Ground.
While Georgia’s General Assembly ramps up early in January, the fight over gun rights legislation is underway.
GA2A, a Georgia Second Amendment advocacy group, launched a “Stand Up for Stand Your Ground” campaign in what they call a “right to self-defense” movement.
The campaign aims to fight House Bill 842, Georgia Shoot First Act, sponsored by State Rep. Marvin Lim (D-Norcross).
The legislation replaces Georgia’s stand your ground law — with duty to retreat.
“We are continuing to protect the right to self-defense so long as someone has a reasonable perception of a deadly threat,” said Lim, an attorney. “The one thing that we are adding is to say that when you are considering what is reasonable, make sure that the ability to walk away, i.e., the duty to retreat, is part of what a person considers.”
Now, Lim has proposed this legislation and apparently thinks it has a chance in hell of actually passing, so I don’t blame GA2A for fighting back.
I also don’t blame them for gearing up for it now and start making their voices heard well before the legislative session begins in January.
The good news, though, is that there’s not much chance of this happening.
After all, Georgia just passed constitutional carry not that long ago. There’s little chance of that same legislature and governor supporting an end to Stand Your Ground.
Moreover, I can’t recall a single state that passed a Stand Your Ground law repeal it for duty to retreat. That’s important because if it were causing the kinds of problems that some claim, someone likely would have done so.
And that’s good because duty to retreat laws are nothing more than a tool anti-gun prosecutors can use to make life difficult for people caught in a bad situation and who used lethal force.
Lim says his bill respects the right of self-defense, but what will happen is anti-gun prosecutors will use the absence of Stand Your Ground to go after anyone they can. They’ll look in the cold light of day and suddenly discover some window they could have crawled through or some gate they might have squeezed through and then prosecute a law-abiding citizen for defending their life.
Yet the question is, if there’s little chance of this bill passing, why gear up for the fight?
My take is that if you don’t smack these things down and smack them down hard, anti-gunners start thinking they’ll get it next year. They’ll start pushing more and more anti-gun legislation into the pipeline, all in an effort to take away our right to self-defense.
And Georgia has elected two Democrats to the Senate, so while Stand Your Ground is safe for the moment, it won’t be indefinitely if things keep going as they have. GA2A gearing up now means they’ll have the manpower to do it later.