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Georgia Gov. to sign new gun rights expansion today

Written By | Apr 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 — Today Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, will sign into law one of the most expansive pieces of gun rights legislation in recent memory. HB 60, “Firearms; certain laws regarding carrying and possession by retired judges; provide exemption” is an amendment to existing Georgia law allowing for the lifting on prohibitions concerning hunting, self-defense, conceal-carry, as well as placing restrictions on certain state firearm registration efforts.

A summary of the bill from the Georgia General Assembly website reads as follows:

“A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Part 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying and possession of firearms, so as to provide an exemption from certain laws regarding the carrying and possession of firearms by retired judges; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”

The bill essentially allows for conceal license holders to bring their weapons into bars, it allows for Churches, Mosques, and Synagogues to allow firearms onto their property with their permission, and it makes it legal for convicted criminals to defend their lives with illegal firearms in cases of extreme self-defense. In addition, the law redefines some hunting restrictions, and allows hunters to use silencers.

It is a very inclusive bill, some are calling it the greatest success in gun legislation in recent memory, while others are predicting the end of the world.

These laws tend to shed light on some very interesting trends and truths in this country.

One of those truths that the passage of these laws highlights is that the government, or groups among the government, do not trust the citizenry with firearms. It is for their own good that we have restrictive laws, you see. Just ask Baltimore, Chicago, and DC how safe they feel walking down the street without the terrible burden of the right to carry a firearm in self-defense.

The main reason many Democrats opposed this bill was that they believed that with its passage, guns in bars and Churches would mean that Georgia would descend into the chaos of the Wild West, and Savannah would be the new Tombstone, Arizona and the Earp’s would be reliving his showdown at OK Corral with the Clanton’s and McLaury’s. They are worried that soon Georgia will descend into a deserted wasteland while road warriors search for gas among the ruins of Atlanta.  They can see that in a World without gun control Georgia will be ruled by an army of rogue separatists on horseback lead by a devious Xerox salesman, who can only be stopped by Kevin Costner.

Another one of those truths is that not all Americans support gun control, like the President has boldly stated.

That we have come to a point in this country where constituents and their representatives in various state legislatures feel the need that provisions have to be taken to strengthen gun laws is a great indicator as to the state of liberty and Constitutional adherence. For every action there is a reaction, and the recent gun control push by President Obama and his allies in Congress is not outside the realm of this general rule. After mouthing the words along the line of “I support the Second Amendment…” the President exploited tragedy after tragedy, had his allies raise millions of dollars, had state legislatures pass restrictive gun measures, and has made outrageous claims about firearms owners and firearms ownership in the United States.

So should we be surprised when states like Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri and many others decide to push back? Should we be surprised that states with high rates of gun ownership don’t appreciate the encroaching mass of anti-gun rhetoric and venom coming from the same people protected in the night by men and women with guns?

No, we should not be surprised. We should not be surprised that in an effort to combat the various “gun safety” groups, which do nothing but call for registration and confiscation, the American people push their legislators to action and donate their own money to groups like the NRA, and NAGR, as well as Georgia Carry who was instrumental in getting this bill passed.

Many Americans believe that the Second Amendment is all that is required to safeguard their gun rights. They point to the Bill of Rights and loudly and proudly proclaim, “right here, it says it right here, ‘shall not be infringed.’” Admirable, and understandable, but that time has come and gone.

The rights have been infringed upon at nearly every level of government. The Founders confirmed our right to bear arms in defense of life, liberty, and property. The courts have confirmed those ideas through the Heller and McDonald decisions, yet the infringement continues.

The last truth that these laws shed light on is the fact that they are necessary, as well as how unfortunate it is to believe that. Certain legislative bodies are now in the business of having to pass laws protecting the rights protected by the Constitution. In the case of firearms, it is sad that this has come to pass. The fact that we have arrived at a point in our political evolution as a country in which we are witnessing the erosion of our fundamental rights, and the subsequent efforts to restore or save those rights, is indeed a sad thing.

Those people who hold up the Bill of Rights and point to the Second Amendment are right, that is all they should need. But the fact of the matter is that it is not. The Constitution no longer provides the protections from the government it once did, and so now we see alternative actions being taken to support those protections.

We should applaud Georgia and their likeminded states who pass laws which seek to protect the freedom and ability of their citizens to defend themselves, we should prop up those politicians and we should support their efforts. But we should also be sad in our lamentation at the fact that the Second Amendment which exists to protect the rights of the people to bear arms, now in turn needs protection from various factions in government seeking to dismantle it.

What Georgia has accomplished today is promising for American gun owners, but it is sad that such measures needed to be considered in the first place.


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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a BA from Catholic University in DC and an MA form George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, both in history. When he not getting his hands dirty in 2nd Amendment and firearms news he is doing his best to take a crack at some drive-by political analysis. And every now and then he may or may not review a low end bourbon for the tax write off. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Back Porch Politics.