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Sgt. Patrick Hayes writes:

I usually title my articles “A Law Enforcement Perspective” but this time is it my personal perspective as a citizen of Georgia. Today, Governor Nathan Deal signed HB60, The Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, into law. Despite anti-gunners’ and their media water carriers’ hysterical claims that the new “guns everywhere” law is “extreme” (e.g., NBC’s What Georgia’s ‘Extreme’ New Gun Law Allows), its passage was a bipartisan effort of Georgia legislators. The bill also enjoyed the advice and support of Georgia’s gun owners and groups like Georgiacarry, Georgia Gun Owners, Gun Owners of America and the NRA. The law expands where Georgia citizens – and those whose states share reciprocity with us – can carry a handgun in Georgia. Specifically . . .

Bars, churches, schools, airports and government buildings. Bar owners and school boards can prohibit licensed carry inside their facilities with signage. Churches must “opt in” to allow firearms. Airport carry is [still] allowed up to security checkpoints; if a legal gun owner holder accidentally carries a gun through security they won’t be arrested. And government buildings must allow carry unless they have security checkpoints or metal detectors.

The Act also removes unneeded steps in the license renewal process (e.g., fingerprinting). It prevents the state from maintaining a gun owner database and prohibits the Government form seizing weapons during an emergency. Crucially (from my point-of-view), law enforcement can no longer detain someone to just check their firearms license. They have to have probable cause to believe that someone with a gun – whether carrying concealed or openly – has committed a crime.

There was never any question that Governor Deal was going to sign the bill. He is up for reelection. We have a lot of gun owners who vote around here. The new law is not Constitutional carry, but it is a huge step in the right direction. 

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  1. We gave them Sunday liquor sales so they owed us this law. Actually I was in favor of both.
    Here is the deal: All…well most CCW holders were packing heat everywhere already so this just makes it legal to do what most people were doing anyway. Reminds me of when they raised the speed limits. “Everybody drives 10mph over the limit anyway so we just made the law comply with what everybody does.”

    • Actually that Sunday liquor law got repealed in 2011. There’s no small irony that what was once the most anti-civil liberties state in America is now one of the most libertarian (in the legal sense).

      In any case, today is a good day to be a Georgian.

      • We have Sunday sales in 3 cities in my North GA county. Its up to the voters in each jurisdiction I guess.

  2. As a fellow Georgian I shout HERE HERE! Glad to see this pass with flying colors. The national news reporting on this has been absolutely ridiculous and just plain full of lies. Everyone here is in support of the law.

  3. I find it funny how I hear from people by me how guns in bars will surely cause blood in the streets etc.
    …people by me in Pennsylvania
    …where guns are legal in bars
    …and people aren’t getting killed

    • I live in pa and you are right. no blood in the streets and when there is its in a bad neighborhood with people that aren’t allowed guns anyway.

      quick note though, it may be legal to carry in a bar but how many people do you believe when you hear them say ” I only had one drink”. now imagine trying to convince a jury that you weren’t drunk when the idiot made you defend yourself, I carry in bars but only drink a coke

      • A legal defense does not require you to be sober. It requires a normal person to fear for their life if they were in that situation. The only thing being sober does is make it easier to tell the difference in the moment.

        And help with trigger control.

  4. I don’t believe cops in GA have ever been allowed to ask to see a GWL without RAS. I don’t think that is something new. (not saying it stopped them though)

    • There was alot of debate about that and that is the reason for that part of the law. We can still ask if we want to, but we cannot detain or demand a license.

  5. It has been this way in Nevada for a while I go to bars alot never seen a gun come out or a negligent discharge. These types of anti-rebel libs encourage a culture of fear and need one to survive.

  6. The fight to RESTORE 2nd Amendment rights in Georgia continues… I’ll have to corroborate the signage claim. As far as I know, there has been and is still no legal weight to signage in the State of Georgia, even in HB60.

    UPDATE: the only signage I see in HB60 relates to the restricted areas of airports.

    • Churches must “opt in” to allow firearms.

      I’m sure this is intentionally ass-backwards to keep the pearl clutchers from going into hysterics, but how would a casual visitor of the church know whether that congregation has banned carry or not?

      Seems to me that the state legislature shouldn’t be singling out churches for regulation in this matter.

  7. This news is funny from the perceptive of a state that has always been at least that free.

    Even the local news in NH reported it like it was a revelation.

    Still waiting for blood in the streets from any of these places with “reckless” laws. So many MSM promises and so little follow through. I’ve got my blood canoe out and ready to go.

  8. I loved the horribly biased NBCNews article with all the “extreme” emphasis. It was obvious that not only was the author a rabid anti, but knows nothing about firearms or carry law.

    In Wisconsin, we already had carry in airports up to the security checkpoints, carry in church unless the church prohibited it, carry in bars so long as you are not drinking and government buildings if not prohibited or correctional/mental health centers. Heck, until we have a Democrat governor again, most of our state capitol building is carry friendly.

    Alas poor NBC writer couldn’t be honest enough to point out the same drinking restriction implying drunks can legally carry. He couldn’t be honest to point out the Oak Creek shooting took place at a house of worship and no one could stop him until the police arrived minutes later. Just because a church is a sanctuary to its members doesn’t mean every person walking through the door does. Oak Creek proves that.

  9. It will be interesting to see what local school boards choose now, GFZ or not? Now that they will be responsible/ liable for creating the gun climate in their schools. What would you choose?

    • The school issue is what we are cutting our baby teeth on. Most districts are trying to put cops in all the schools but that cost runs into the millions each year..hence option 2…school staff.
      We only have a few places to look to for examples……wish us luck.

  10. I honestly don’t see this law as that far reaching. The 08 and 10 rewrites of our gun codes were significantly more substantial and “extreme.” Having said that, the unsecured government building portion is fantastic. The imaginary line at the door of the library wasn’t much to save lives. Many of the idiots on the web think we can just now carry at the airport, but we’ve been doing that for years now. I want to see someone sue for campus carry, seeing as how they are almost always “unsecured government buildings.” Seems like we would win unless they wrote them on as exceptions in this law, too.

    As far as prog-tard mommy panty wads go, I found this at gun wire:

  11. I followed this bill closely, and there are a couple of slight inaccuracies in your description.

    “Bar owners, church leaders and school boards can prohibit licensed carry inside their facilities with approved signage.”

    Signs do not have weight of law in GA and there isn’t really such a thing as “approved” (or official) signage. Previously, bars and churches were completely off limits. Now bars are just like other private property, they must actually ask you to leave if they know you are carrying and do not want you to carry there. If you refuse it becomes a trespassing issue. However, churches are not treated like other private property, they are “opt-in”… it is a crime and license violation to carry in a church unless the church leadership explicitly permits it.

    “Airport carry is allowed up to security checkpoints.”

    This was already legal, it has just been clarified and codified. What is new is that if a GWCL holder accidentally tries to carry a gun through security, they have the option to leave and won’t be arrested.

    • I should have read further down the page before I asked Mediocrates, so I’ll ask again here:

      “How would a casual visitor of the church know whether that congregation has banned carry or not?”

      • They wouldn’t, and that’s why opt-in is BS. It’s also BS because it leaves deciding whether something is a criminal offense or not up to the churches instead of being explicit in the law. I agree with your previous comment and would expand that to the legislature shouldn’t be singling out ANY private property to be treated differently than others.

        • Thank you for the info.

          Like I said, it was written bass-ackwards because anti-gunners know that in general a congregation would be more reluctant to “opt in” to CCW than to “opt-out.”

  12. If the people who decry the reinstatement of the gun rights of Georgians knew anything about the racist roots that caused the removal thereof, they’d probably come off their moral high horse. Public gatherings, bars, and churches (the first being previously restored in SB308) were all places made off limits not out of a fear of people shooting one another, but a fear of armed black people getting together and planning to kill white people. The public gathering law in particular was extremely vague, having to be defined by decades of case law. Three people talking to one another in a parking lot? That’s a public gathering. These laws were selectively enforced across the state until the early 70s, largely against blacks, hispanics, and other minorities or to add time onto sentences for other crimes. They had nothing to do with curbing violence or protecting the public, but upholding the Jim Crow status quo.

  13. We’ve had legal carry in bars in Colorado for ages (only open is banned in Denver country). And we can even have a beer or wine too. As long as you don’t blow over the legal driving limit, you’re good to go. Sounds like many states don’t allow a responsibly consumed adult beverage. How about Georgia now?

    • In GA it is legal to drink while carrying and there is no BAC limit. The only prohibition is discharging your weapon while intoxicated, except in self defense.

      I believe it was in 2010 when that changed. IIRC, 2008 allowed us to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but not drink, and 2010 removed the no drinking part. Now in 2014 we get actual bars (which never really had a very clear definition in the law to begin with) allowed.

  14. So, Sgt, Hayes, Jehmu Greene (Ace Obama Supporter) was on Fox News this morning debating with John Lott about this Georgia Law. She stated unequivocally that “91% of Georgia’s Citizens” opposed this Law vehemently and she could not understand why the State Legislature and Governor enacted it despite the people’s protestations. She made a few other standard anti-gun assertions, as well.
    My question to you is: Do you know what the support and opposition levels amongst Georgia’s Citizenry for this Law were/are for a fact?
    I am asking because I was astonished at the figure quoted and find it extremely hard to believe. I would like another source I trust more to verify or refute it. Thanks!
    Whatever the answer is, I am glad for the people of Georgia and applaud the State Legislators and Governor for demonstrating what real “common sense” is.

  15. The law is getting where it should be. Kudos to the citizens, my friends, and Governor Deal of Georgia. I could say, “It is about time” but thought it is, congratulations to all involved.

    Georgia will become a safer place with the law.

    Good to see despite the media freenzy and misrepresentation, the legislature and governor stayed steadfast!

    • Don’t give too much kudos to Governor Deal. He worked behind the scenes to gut campus carry and courthouse vs. courtroom language out of this bill. He had no choice but to sign it or lose all “I’ll sign any gun bill that comes to my desk” (which he tries to make sure doesn’t have to happen) credibility. Pennington for Governor this time around.

  16. Nice gesture, but the last time I read the Bill of Rights, the government doesn’t have the power to make any laws about firearms.
    “On every question of construction, let’s carry ourselves back to the time when The Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson.

    • Exactly!!! +1

      I am so sick and tired of these welfare mommas crying about the children they raised in high crime areas getting killed by the thugs they all raise. They raise the criminals and all KNOW who THEY are.

  17. Bookmark, and screen print, every anti-gunner apocalyptic prediction from the Guns Everywhere law. The more hyperbolic the better. When the world does not end and nothing happens, we need to throw it back.

  18. So does the wet-panty crowd really think that gunfights are going to break out in church among members? Really, they think that?

    They just can’t grasp the idea that people want to carry all the time without the hassle of mount/dismount as you travel from place to place.

    The MFM stupidity is magnified by the fact that they don’t have the faintest idea of what the inside of a church looks like either.

    MFM massive stupidity = (Ignorance of guns) x (Ignorance of church)

    • So does the wet-panty crowd really think that gunfights are going to break out in church among members? Really, they think that?

      I dunno; I’ve seen some pretty spirited discussion over finer points of doctrine…

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  20. All of it seems perfectly rational and reasonable, none of it seems all that big of a deal. Wow, I must be an extremist.

  21. Although I think Concealed Carry statutes are a total sham and the state should have no say in how I choose to carry my firearm lawfully, it would be nice if Georgia would get with the picture and respect CCW permits from other states.

    I refuse to visit my buddy who lives there until I know I won’t suddenly become a felon just for having my pistol inside my waistband…

    • Georgia respects the licenses of a number of states. I don’t think they’re going do it without reciprocity, though. We have a low barrier to obtaining a license here, making it unlikely for states that require testing or certification to recognize our permits and vice versa. Unfortunate.

    • This is Georgia’s permit reciprocity…

      Permit(s) Honored In:
      Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

      Permit(s) Not Honored In:
      California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, American Samoa, District of Columbia, N. Mariana Islands

  22. Equally of note this law legalizes hunting with a suppressor so long as you have verifiable permission to hunt on someone’s land with a suppressor. If only suppressors were easier to get, we’d save a lot of future hearing loss. Still, this gives me even more of an incentive to spend the money and get one now.

  23. I gotta say, as a Georgia citizen, I’m disappointed with this bill. It really expands concealed carry very little. The media coverage is completely misleading. Starting July 1, I can carry in a church IF a church opts in, otherwise still no carry. I cannot carry in K-12 schools – only staff at that school with Board of Education approval, and specific training can carry. About the only additional place that I can carry is a public library. Whoopee!

    As a University of Georgia professor, I’m profoundly disappointed college campus carry was stripped. This was a result of Governor Deal and his cronies. (Along with most of my panty-waisted fellow professors.) This is a real issue for someone like me who travels all over the state. If I use a university vehicle, I cannot carry a firearm in the vehicle. Personally, I like to always travel with a first aid kit, snacks, water, basic tools, and some sort of firearm.

    At least next time I renew my carry license, I won’t have to pay for fingerprinting again. 🙂
    – One of the few remaining redneck college professors

    • I’m a graduate student in GA considering becoming one of those liberal college professors. I, too, would like to be able to protect myself walking home from work now and in the future. This law doesn’t really end up affecting me at all. Probably won’t even be a GA resident by the time I need to renew. Pretty disappointing.

      • It’s encouraging to see a neighbor state doing more to honor the 2nd Amendment, but I was really hoping GA would lead the way for campus carry. That’s an important challenge that remains.

  24. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t apply to ALL government buildings without security checkpoints. I still can’t carry on campus. Want a higher education? As long as you don’t use tobacco products or want to protect yourself!

  25. There’s nothing “extreme” or “reckless” about this. Fact is, I’ve packed heat concealed everywhere they said I cannot, and not once did my pistol crawl out of its holster by itself and murder anyone. This is like telling a German who drives on the autobahn daily that 100mph is too dangerous.

    • Fact is, I’ve packed heat concealed everywhere they said I cannot, and not once did my pistol crawl out of its holster by itself and murder anyone.

      Then your pistol is seriously defective and should be looked at by a gunsmith at once.

  26. I have no problem with the law. Personally only an idiot would drink and carry. There is NO person who does not lose judgement and coordination when drinking. Like Republicans say punish the criminals not the gun. If a drunk fires a gun – even in self defense and hits the wrong person, he should be charged with manslaughter. I still don’t get the guns and god connection. Jesus never fought back – but I am no Christian, and I do carry. Christians like to twist and distort passages from the HUMAN written bible to justify eveything they do.

    • Yes, I was asking in the hypothetical about how to tell if a church had banned CCW or not. I don’t expect to ever be an issue for me either.

      Funny thing though; a (former) GF was a devout Missouri Synod Lutheran was quite comfortable carrying in the sanctuary, whereas I, the non-believer, was the one squeamish one. (Well, I was taught it was rude; I don’t know how many times Mama had to whup me before that lesson took.)


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