Georgia Gov. to sign new gun rights expansion today

photo by ZORIN DENU via flickr

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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  • Gerald Allen

    Looks like they finally got it right. Now get the rest of the country to follow suit.

    • Capt. Parker

      No “gun-laws” are Constitutional – nowhere in the Constitution or the Second Amendment does it state, “except”.

  • nobamasux

    what state will follow?? they ALL SHOULD!!! don’t let this usurper get away with gun grabbing!

  • Sandra Leigh Olson Rogers

    Every State in the Union should be passing laws, rules, & statutes to preserve it’s citizens the right to keep & bear arms for the protection of themselves & their families & neighbors against the encroachment of seditious, traitorous congressional representatives, as well as all entities of the Executive, Judicial, & Legislative branches of the Federal government, to include the Supreme Court Justices. If you not stand with us in this matter, you are against us, & may God have mercy on your soul!!! Wake Up America!! We are going to Hell in a handbasket if we don’t stop this administration.

  • Capt. Obvious!

    I still don’t understand how the law can put restrictions on the carry of firearms in churches. Separation of church and state???

  • Capt. Parker

    When Georgia joined the union – and again when the War of Northern Aggression ended and Georgia was forced back in to the union – the Constitution was in full effect, including the Second Amendment. The State of Georgia AGREED TO BE BOUND BY THE CONSTITUTION, INCLUDING THE SECOND AMENDMENT THERETO.
    No where in the Second Amendment (or the Constitution) is the word “except” used in relation to the possession, carry, or purchase, of a firearm or other weapon.
    The ONLY means by which a Free Citizen of any of the Sovereign States Several may be stripped of their Rights GUARANTEED under that Constitution is by a JURY OF THEIR PEERS. Further, that only applies to the “guaranteed RIGHTS” under the Constitution …. there is still the issue of God-Given Rights to understand.
    The Governor of Georgia needs to step up and lead the way to CONSTITUTIONAL OWNERSHIP OF ARMS, as GUARANTEED under the Constitution for these united States of America.

  • How in the hell can any elected official say “but” to the second amendment? There is no “buts”, or “excepts” in the second amendment!

  • Kevin Blankenship

    From what I have read this is a very common sense type Law which is what our founders intended. The people who make up the Legislature, the executive and every other civil service job are trusted with guns etc… Therefore the people who elect them should also be trusted with weapons they are only as good or as bad as the person using them, the same as any other thing that can be misused. Equality is a huge balancer of power and ensures Justice for us all!

  • Colt

    FOR THE RECORD! Our pro-gun legislation has been killed for the past three years by a SuperRepublican Majority in the Senate lead by Lt Gov Cagle and current Gov Deal. Read the following.

    “Here’s the long story, which I’m telling because you want info on Deal. This requires some explanation.

    Yes, EJR914, me, and a lot of others in Georgia have been actively pushing for a month or two now to help pass this legislation. Because of the Senate, we actually had to sacrifice (completely) campus carry, and church carry is “opt-in” (meaning it’s not legal to enter a church armed unless you obtain permission from the lease-holder of the private property first!). One of our “compromises” to the Senate was allowing them to add an amendment that “allows” hunters to hunt with suppressors (though anyone can pay the tax and own a suppressor, you just couldn’t HUNT with it 😕 ). Oh, and the bill called them “silencers.” 🙄

    Anyway, up until a couple of hours before the end of the legislative session for the year, the House and the Senate were at each other’s throats, with the House being more pro-gun and the Senate wanting to allow as little freedom as possible through their fingers. Sad, considering that we have a Republican SUPERMAJORITY and should be able to pass these bills no prob. Anyway, the Senate has torpedoed this same bill for the last two years by some devious maneuvering. However, this is an election year, and many of our House Reps were determined to fight to get the majority of the issues passed. The House did some clever maneuvering of its own (thanks nominally to Chairman Powell, Rep. Rick Jasperse and a few others), and we ended up getting around an intended Senate subcommittee sabotage. Essentially, the House was able to secure HB 60 for passage by Sine Die, which passed by almost 2/3 of the House. Just waiting to see what Deal will do.

    Now, there’s your backstory. What you don’t know is that Governor Deal and Lieut. Gov. Cagle have been behind some of the sabotage during this year and the past two years. This year, a “phone call” (from Deal or someone representing him) killed campus carry in HB 875 in the House subcommittee, before HB 875 could get to the House floor for a vote. In the Senate judiciary subcommittee, one of the senators, Stone, accepted the nomination as a judge ($120,000/yr salary), offered by Gov. Deal, in return for gutting the best parts of HB 875. However, the House learned this before the committee meeting, and while Stone & Co. were busy killing HB 875, the House took a different bill that had already passed the Senate vote, HB 60, and amended it to include all the language of HB 875 (not including campus carry). HB 60 thus became the revitalized pro-gun bill, and only needed its amendments approved by the Senate (thus bypassing the Senate subcommittee and forcing the entire Senate to vote on the record during an election year). So, we got what we did because the House was forced to resort to Senate tactics…smart, but should never have been necessary in a state with a Republican supermajority in the legislature.

    Deal is running for reelection partly on a pro-2A stance on his website, which states that he has always approved pro-2A legislation that crosses his desk. So, he either vetoes it and forgoes his promise, ignores it and lets it become law by default, or “endorses” it by signing it for his campaign propaganda.

    Governor Nathan Deal does not wish for Georgians to carry in church, in government buildings, on college campuses/on college-owned property, and he has no scruples regarding using unorthodox/illegal methods to get his way. Same goes for Cagle. I didn’t vote for Deal the past election – I voted for a more Libertarian-oriented candidate. I sure as hell will not support him this year. By the same token, many of the Republicans in the Senate and the House are RINOs, and only voted pro-gun because it is an election year. Those people who showed resistance to voting pro-Constitution will not be getting my vote.

    Deal is a conniving, two-faced politician (poli = many, tic = parasite), Cagle is similar, and many of the other politicians in the capitol share the same traits. We’re fortunate that we have such gun organizations as GeorgiaCarry.Org, a local pro-gun rights organization that has been fighting to restore our liberties for over a decade. They play the game, they get to know our representatives by name and in person, and they get the job done. If ANY of you have a similar organization in your home state, I humbly suggest that you get involved with it ASAP, find out what the issues are in your state’s House and Senate regarding firearms, and work with them to restore (or defend) your rights. Just getting on FB and sharing info, getting others interested, can help.” ~ (Rah45) Georgia Carry member

    • Freedom

      Thank you for taking the time to post such a large – and necessary – comment in order to give the rest of us the bigger picture. I’ve noticed in the past that most often the only time that American citizens are “given in to” by our government leaders is during any election year. God Bless

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