This bill was actually called “the most extreme gun bill in the country” by Mom’s Demand Action and other anti-gun groups, so you know it has to be good.
First off, a big shout out the grassroots organizationGeorgiaCarry.org. Their work over the last two years made the passage of this bill possible.
Just yesterday I was lamenting Georgia’s legislative issues in getting a pro-gun bill passed the last couple of years.
Tonight, literally in the 11th hour (GA’s legislative session ends for the year at midnight), the Georgia legislature passed HB60. The bill ended up with some compromises in it, but will expand the number of places Georgians can legally carry their firearms, legalize suppressors for hunting and cleans up/strengthens several other components of Georgia’s gun laws.
One of the main points of the bill was to legalize the carry of lawful firearms in churches. Georgia is one of a minority of states that currently forbids licensed carriers from carrying in churches. This component of the bill ended up getting watered down and under this bill a church would have to “opt-in” to allow carry.
The bill does expand the right to carry to bars as well as some government buildings.
The bill also strengthens state preemption laws, preventing local governments from passing weapons/carry laws that are more strict than the states’.
Here is a brief summary of some of the other things the bill would do, from the NRA-ILA,
If passed and enacted into law, HB 60 would do the following:
Remove fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
– Prohibit the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
– Create an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
– Remove the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in churches and bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
– Lower the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
– Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
– Repeal the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
– Prohibit a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
– Codify the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
– Include a provision that would have the state report those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing an ability for relief through an application process to the court system for the purpose of restoration of rights.
– State that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
– Strengthen current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
The bill will now go to Governor Nathan Deal, who can either sign it immediately, veto it, or do nothing, in which case the bill will become law after 40 days.
This bill was heavily fought by national anti-gun groups such as Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.