Yesterday, state Representative Rick Jasperse (R-11) introduced House Bill 875, the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation in recent state history.
HB 875 seeks to make many changes to benefit law-abiding gun owners, shooters and sportsmen alike. Some of the key improvements and changes include:
- Removal of fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (“WCL”).
- Prohibiting the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Creation of an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Removal of the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in churches and bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
- Lowering the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Repealing the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Preempting a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codifying the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
- Incorporation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act for mental health reporting.
- Stating 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.
- Strengthening current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
- Allowing school systems to decide whether staff and faculty may carry a firearm on school property, pending approved training, similar to the NRA’s National School Shield program.
- Allowing the lawful carry by WCL holders in government buildings where it is not currently restricted or security screening personnel are posted during regular business hours.
HB 875 has yet to be assigned to a House committee, but it will be assigned and heard in the coming weeks. Your NRA fully supports these comprehensive improvements to the gun laws in Georgia and will be sure to keep you informed and engaged as HB 875 progresses during the 2014 legislative session.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates.