Just a couple of weeks ago, on April 23rd, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed what the NRA called the “most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history”, into law. The Safe Carry Protection Act will allow permit holders to carry into public places, including bars, nightclubs, schools, churches, and government buildings.
Governor Deal stated, “People who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don’t follow the rules. The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefront of our minds…The important premise we should all remember is these are people who have their fingerprints taken, their backgrounds checked and they have been licensed to carry a weapon. It’s not just someone walking out of the clear blue with none of those background checks. They’ve been subjected to scrutiny of the state.”
This act is actually made up of several House Bills. House Bill 28 and 335 remove public places of worship as off-limits and instead lets the leaders of the congregations decide to allow guns or not. HB35 allows administrators and school staff that meet certain training requirements to carry at school. HB 356 allows concealed carry into airport terminal buildings in non-secure areas and determines that unintentional carry up to secure areas is not to be considered a crime. It also allows permit holders to carry in government buildings where there is no security at the entrance. It removes the fingerprint requirement for permit renewals, and changes the permit denial criteria from “inpatient hospitalization” to “involuntary treatment”. This act also added some permit denial criteria, including those “not guilty by reason of insanity”, “adjudicated incompetent to stand trial”, “registered on the state sexual offender registry”, “a person within 5 years had a guardian or conservator appointed to represent such a person as a result of mental illness or alcoholic or drug dependency”, and “ any person who within 5 years, has made a credible threat to do physical violence to another person which threat was heard by a law enforcement officer and reported to the Georgia Crime Information Center”.
I personally hope that more of our elected officials and “representatives” start to realize that this is the more effective route to take. That the criminals, by definition, do not obey the laws; therefore, the laws should help, not hinder, those who abide by them.