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Georgia: Two Important Gun Bills to be Heard in State House and Senate Committees Tomorrow

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Your action needed on important gun-related legislation

Tomorrow, February 5, two gun-related bills are scheduled to be heard in state House and Senate committees.  One bill is a comprehensive pro-gun reform bill which seeks to expand the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Georgia, while the other is an egregious infringement on your inherent right to self-defense.

Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Georgia House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to hear House Bill 875, with a committee vote expected next week.  HB 875, introduced by state Representative Rick Jasperse (R-11), is the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation introduced in recent state history.  Please call AND e-mail members of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee TODAY and urge them to support HB 875.  Contact information for members of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee can be found here.

HB 875 seeks to make beneficial changes to current law including:

  • 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).
  • Prohibiting 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.
  • Including a provision that would have the state report those persons who have been involuntarily committed 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.
  • 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.

Also tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee will hold its rescheduled hearing on Senate Bill 280, a dangerous bill that erodes your inherent right to self-defense.  As previously reported, SB 280, sponsored by state Senator Vincent Fort (D-39), would repeal an integral portion of Georgia’s self-defense law that allows an individual to defend themselves without a duty to retreat, putting your fundamental right to self-defense in jeopardy.

SB 280 is dangerous legislation that stands to empower and benefit violent criminals in their attacks on law-abiding citizens.  Law-abiding citizens should not fear criminal prosecution when they defend themselves without retreating from any place they have a legal right to be.  This type of senseless and politically motivated legislation puts the rights of the criminal before the rights of a potential victim, and must be stopped. 

Please contact members of this Senate committee and urge them to OPPOSE SB 280 as a misguided infringement on your inherent right to self-defense.  Tell them that victims should have the protection of the law, NOT criminals!  Contact information for members of the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee can be found here.

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