House Bill 218 has passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and is awaiting a floor vote by the full Senate prior to concurrence with the House. It is rumored that some senators may be getting nervous about the bill without reason. HB 218 simply protects lawful gun owners during a declared state of emergency and further recognizes all out-of-state carry permits. Nothing in this bill expands who can possess a firearm or where they may do so.
Please contact your state senator and ask them to get SB 218 to the floor and to vote for it.
House Bill 218 grants universal recognition to concealed carry permits held by non-Georgia residents, issued by any other state. It also directs the Georgia Attorney General to enter into formal reciprocity agreements with any state that requires a formal agreement to recognize a Georgia Weapons Carry License. This reform recognizes that Georgia residents traveling to other states, and visitors to Georgia, should not be left defenseless simply by crossing a state line.
In addition, it prohibits government officials from suspending or restricting Second Amendment rights during declared states of emergencies, such as by confiscating firearms, restricting the carrying of firearms, or discriminating against gun stores. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many anti-gun officials around the country, at both state and local levels of government, took the opportunity to unilaterally suspend Second Amendment rights by shutting down gun stores and ranges. Unfortunately, this coincided with many Americans trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights for the first time during those times of uncertainty, and resulted in them being unable to access arms, ammunition, or proper training. HB 218 protects the exercise of a constitutional right from such politically motivated attacks, and ensures that citizens have those rights when they need them most.
NRA would like to thank Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-23), and the other sponsors, for their hard work on this issue. Again, please contact your senator and ask them to SUPPORT HB 218.