HB492 was signed into law on May 6, 2015. HB492 will become law on July 1, 2015.
HB492 is the result of the Courts, Judges, AGGC and GCO getting together and agreeing on changes that needed to be done after the passage of HB60 last session. Here are the changes:
1) Clarifies that government buildings are off limits only to those who do not hold a valid GWL
2) Clarifies that carrying within 150′ of a polling place is off limits ONLY when an election is taking place.
3) Clarifies that the Probate Judge cannot require a fingerprint background check when the holder has a valid GWL, regardless of the county the GWL was issued. (The Judges were requiring a background check for any license that was not originally issued in their county. This practice will stop upon this bill being signed and the effective date reached.)
4) Allows for school systems to decide punishment for any weapon carried to school by a student with the exception of firearms, dangerous weapons or machine guns or unless weapons defined as such in 16-11-127.1 are used in an assault.
5) Sets the date a GWL can be renewed to 90 days before and 30 days after expiration. The license can be renewed anytime during that 4 months.
6) Defined “Armed Forces” for the purpose of 16-11-129.
7) Sets the procedure for a State or Superior Court to notify the Probate Court when a GWL holder is convicted of any crime that would disqualify the holder from holding a license.
8) Requires the Probate Court to notify GCIC immediately or no later than to days of any license holder who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
9) Clarifies the procedure for the State or Superior Courts to determine the validity of a GWL.
10) Added “political subdivision and school district” to the list of those who cannot institute gun control laws.
11) Changed the definition of weapon in 16-11-173 from the same meaning in 16-11-127.1 to “means any device designed or intended to be used, or capable of being used, for offense or defense, including but not limited to firearms, bladed devices, clubs, electric stun devices, and defense sprays.”
As you can see, there are several good items in this bill. Please take time to contact Governor Deal and the bill’s sponsors and thank them for eliminating these ambiguities in the law.