Georgia Gun Reform Passes House, Silencers Go to Senate Committee

Last year, Second Amendment supporters struggled to push an omnibus gun reform bill through the Georgia legislature.  There were conflicts between groups that claimed similar aims, the bill stalled and ran out of time in the senate. This year, a similar bill, HB 875, has sailed through the house committee and passed by a more than two to one margin. Here is a list of who voted for or against the bill. It has been assigned to the senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, the same committee it where it stalled last year . . .

HB 875 provides for a number of reforms.   A list compiled by the NRA-ILA is shown below:

  • 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.

Senate bill 93 will be coming up for a vote in the natural resources committee in the near future. It makes the use of suppressors legal for the taking of game in Georgia. Similar legislation has been recently implemented in Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas. This bill was introduced last year but did not make it past a senate committee.  A list of the committee members is available here.

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