HB 512 needs your help!

HB 512 Safe Carry Protection Act.

Please contact the members of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee today and Monday to voice your support. Use telephone, email, and facsimile.  They need your encouragement.

Chairman – Powell, Alan
Vice Chairman – Taylor, Darlene K.
Secretary – Atwood, Alex
Members

Please also attend a hearing on this bill on Monday, March 4, at 3:00 pm in Room 415 CLOB – (Coverdell Legislative Office Building – 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA, 30334)

CLOB is across the street from the Capitol on the SouthWest side of the Capitol Building.  Mitchel Street SW changes to Capitol Square SW when it crosses Washington Street SW.

Thanks in advance for your efforts getting this bill moved forward.

Your encouragement is desperately needed.  While GCO does not usually comment on the efforts of other groups, an organization calling itself “Georgia Gun Owners” is spreading lies and misinformation about HB 512 in its postings on Facebook and in mass emails that it sends both to members and thousands of people who are not its members but somehow wound up on its mailing list.  These postings and emails have resulted in a flood of predictably negative attacks from people who read the email, but did not read the bill.

“Georgia Gun Owners” claims that the bill was introduced “in the dead of night,” that it is “secret,” that it would lead to mental health screenings for all gun owners, that it imposes new fees on firearms license applications, that it requires you to “give up your medical privacy,” and that “poison pills” are waiting in the wings, such as “mandatory training.”

Apparently, “Georgia Gun Owners” derived all of this without reading a bill, since they claim it is “secret.”

Georgia Gun Owners is asking people to oppose the entire bill based on its misunderstanding of a provision relating to checks for involuntary hospitalizations.  The truth is that current law includes voluntary hospitalizations as well as involuntary, and HB 512 is narrowing the scope of that provision down to involuntary hospitalizations only.

Here are the facts, straight from John Monroe, Vice President of GeorgiaCarry.Org.

1. Current federal law prohibits possession of a firearm for people who have been involuntarily hospitalized in a mental health facility. Violations are felonies.
2. Current state law prohibits issuance of a GWL to anyone who is ineligible under federal law from possessing a firearm.
3. Current state law makes it optional for probate judges to check if someone has been hospitalized. Many judges do not do this optional check.
4. Current state law does not put a time limit on the check.
5. Every significant gun rights organization, including GCO, has taken a position that mass shootings are a mental health issue and not a gun issue, and that existing mental health laws should be enforced. It would be illogical and inconsistent with this position to insist that involuntary hospitalizations should not be checked, especially when current law already allows it and federal law would indicate it is required already.
6. The bill would make the mental health check mandatory, but clarify that it is only for involuntary hospitalizations, and put a time limit of 30 days on it. Moreover, the bill would allow an applicant to state that he or she has not been involuntarily hospitalized, and the probate judge would be bound to accept that statement if not rebutted by the state within 30 days. Plus, the state can be sued in mandamus if it fails to do the checks within 30 days.
7. “Georgia Gun Owners” is telling people that they have to give up their medical privacy and prove that they are mentally competent. Neither of these is true. The mental health check under current law and in the bill consists solely of checking to see if someone has been involuntarily hospitalized. No medical privacy is involved, except for the foregoing yes or no question. If a person has been so hospitalized, he or she is prohibited from possessing a gun and should not be applying for a GWL in the first place. A person who has not been so hospitalized has no “medical privacy” interest in the fact that he or she has not been hospitalized. The burden of proof is not on the applicant. The probate judge is required to issue the license unless the judge finds the person is not eligible.

The fee of $3 is in current law and is not changed by HB 512.

Want more information about HB 512? See Ed Stone’s Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner article on the bill.  Click on the link here.

Please:

(1) Contact the members of the committee above today and Monday to encourage them.  Use telephone, email, and fax.

(2) Please attend Monday’s hearing, if possible.  3:00 in room 415 CLOB.

Whether you can or cannot attend, please contact each member of the committee listed above to express your support for HB 512.

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5 Responses to “HB 512 needs your help!”

  1. teabilly Says:

    I believe that item 2 on the list needs visiting because I don’t trust what the federal government may or may not deem a person’s qualifications should be for owning a firearm may or may not be in the future. I feel that the state should have its own sovereign qualifications and not be dictated by the feds. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Jerry Henry Says:

    teabilly: #2 on the item is Federal Law, brought to us by the Brady Act. You need to work with your federal legislators to get that changed.

  3. juggler85 Says:

    I am going to be there my rep. is mrs. waites. I want to talk to her and see how she feels about this bill face to face. How will I know who is there for Georgia carry? This is my first time going to something like this.

    Thanks

  4. Gunstar1 Says:

    Juggler85:
    Some GCO members will be wearing bright orange buttons that say “Guns Save Lives” on them. There might be someone there with extras if you want to wear one yourself.

  5. Bill Says:

    Regardless of how your Georgia Senator or House member voted last night: they were ineffective in either a wrong vote or failing to persuade their peers to vote the right way with them. . I have been very disappointed with the effectiveness of our current politicians and their ability to pass any meaningful legislation for the last few years and the Governor’s office is not helping. Nathan must have stayed in D.C. to long. Time to clean house from the Governor on down.

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