On May 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed a ruling of the Fulton County Superior Court dismissing GCO’s lawsuit against the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. In the lawsuit, GCO and member Phillip Evans seek declaratory and injunctive relief against the Gardens because the Gardens claims to have the authority to ban guns on its property. The Gardens leases the property from the City of Atlanta, and state law prevents lessees of public property from banning weapons on such property. The opinion and other case documents may be found here.
GeorgiaCarry.Org is Georgia's No-compromise
Voice For Gun Owners.
The Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights doesn't just apply in certain locations or to special people favored by the government. The right of the people to keep and bear arms applies everywhere and to all of us without qualification. "Shall not be infringed" means SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Prior to July 1, 2008, the State of Georgia had many restrictions on where and how a law abiding citizen could carry a firearm. Coupled with a law so vaguely and poorly written that determining where one could legally carry was extremely difficult, many citizens never bothered to obtain a Georgia Firearm License to exercise their rights.
GeorgiaCarry.Org was incorporated on February 9, 2007 and from the beginning, we have fought against the powerful interests who seek to burden the exercise of our second amendment rights. Our first action was to sue Georgia's Probate Judges to force them to follow the law. We sued them to force them to issue license within a certain time frame as opposed to issuing them when they so desired. We also took them to court to remove their requirement of applicants to supply their Social Security numbers and employment information in order to obtain a license. Next, we took on Cities and Counties to force them to repeal their local gun bans, in violation of Georgia's Preemption Law (OCGA 16-11-173).
Working with Georgia State Senator John Douglas (R17) and State Rep. Tim Bearden (R68) in 2008, we began the process of expanding the number of places Firearms Licensees can carry, including restaurants that serve alcohol, public transit and parks. GCO filed an Amicus Brief in the Heller v. DC court case documenting the racist origins and intent of gun control.
In 2009, working with Senator Mitch Seabaugh, we took yet another step in restoring our 2A rights. In 2010, SB308, Senator Seabaugh's "Common Sense" gun bill was passed in the General Assembly and signed into law on June 6, 2010 by Governor Sonny Perdue. The signing of SB308 repealed Georgia's 140 year old Public Gathering statute, expanded the number of places a license holder could carry and expanded the number of people qualified to get a license by removing the life time prohibitions for misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions.
Much more needs to be done and GeorgiaCarry.Org will not stop until our nation's forefather's promise of "shall not be infringed" is achieved. If you share our belief that the Second Amendment doesn't have an asterisk, then join us in the fight for our Liberty.
On May 5, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointments of Dustin W. Hightower to a Superior Court judgeship within the Coweta Judicial Circuit. The appointment will take effect upon swearing in.
As most of you know, Dusty has been a very staunch supporter of GeorgiaCarry.Org and the Second Amendment. He has made many great speeches both in committee meetings as well as from the well of the House floor. He also worked behind the scenes to help us secure good legislation. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dusty for his untiring efforts in protecting our rights.
Dusty reports he expects to be sworn in some time in June and that he and his family are excited to begin a new journey. While we will miss his support in the House of Representatives, we congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well in the future.
According to Newstalk 1330 WLBB in Carrolton, GA this morning, GCO’s first Legislator of the Year (2008), Tim Bearden will be seeking his old House Seat (District 68) when Dusty officially vacates the position. Tim preceded Dusty as the House Representative for District 68 having held office for 7 years from 2005 to 2011. Tim vacated this position upon his appointment in 2012 by Gov. Deal to be the Director of the GA Public Safety Training Center, a position he held for 3 years before resigning to return to private industry.
Tim has always felt he could serve the citizens best with conservative policy to grow Georgia economically while protecting their Constitutional rights, and it appears he is taking steps to fulfill his calling.
Today Governor Deal, with his veto of HB 859, the “campus carry” bill, has defied the will of the overwhelming majority of the Georgia Legislature. He has also denied a basic constitutional right to law-abiding citizens, 21 years old and older, to protect themselves against violent crime in their chosen daily lives. Perhaps most regrettably, his veto insults and demeans the adults on Georgia’s campuses – ‘I don’t trust you’ he is saying. This veto does not even apply to the stereotypical freshman ‘frat’ boy who has been caricatured in this debate, but is too young to receive a Georgia Weapons License. It does apply to the single mom working on her nursing certificate in night classes. It does apply to the thirty year old graduate students and researchers working in the laboratories of Georgia Tech until the wee hours of the night and then commuting back to their two young children. Yes, Governor Deal has demeaned and insulted these people and many others. Instead, Governor Deal believes that the violent crime on our college campuses will be addressed by ordering the Chancellor to send him a report by August 1, 2016. Those who would murder, assault, rape, and rob Georgia’s students are not going to be deterred by a report, by the occasional additional police presence, nor by a sign declaring a “gun free” zone.
Needless to say, GeorgiaCarry.Org has worked tirelessly for years on this legislation and we are obviously disappointed. We will, however, not give up. There will be an opportunity to override this veto in next year’s session. There is an election this year in which the voters of Georgia can speak their mind with their votes. There will be an opportunity in two years to elect a Governor who actually believes in the 2nd Amendment freedoms, and will put those beliefs into actions and not just words. We will be back next year and every year thereafter – as long as it takes, to secure for law-abiding Georgians who happen to want an education, the rights enshrined in our Constitution.
WHEREAS, in 2016, GeorgiaCarry.Org lobbied for and was successful in passing HB 859, the Campus Carry Act, which allowed for concealed firearms on Georgia campuses; and
Yesterday, the governor issued the below press release.
Deal calls on General Assembly to address “campus carry” concerns
The governor’s office released the following statement in response to “campus carry” legislation passed by the General Assembly:
“As a lifetime defender and staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights, Gov. Deal has signed every pro-gun bill to reach his desk. However, he believes legitimate points have been made in regards to certain aspects of the ‘campus carry’ bill and he calls on the General Assembly to address these concerns in related legislation before Sine Die. Specifically, these areas of concern include dually enrolled k-12 students who leave school to attend classes at a university or technical college campus, as well as daycare centers on these same campuses. Deal also believes the governing boards of universities and technical colleges should have the discretion to set reasonable rules regarding disciplinary hearings and faculty and administrative offices. Addressing these issues is an important step in ensuring the safety and freedoms of students, faculty and staff in our institutions of higher learning throughout our state.”
- In Georgia’s 240-year history as a state, it never has been a crime to carry a gun in day care centers. Day care centers have a much lower crime rate than colleges. We’re just trying to make colleges as safe as day care centers already are — it would not make sense now for the first time to criminalize carrying at day care centers.
- High school students already are around guns. GA has a robust youth shooting program which conservatively breaks down as:
- 135 High school rifle teams
- 520 JROTC high school rifle teams
- 139 Counties with 4-H shooting teams – rifles and shotguns
- Over 100,000 Boy Scout participating in Boy Scout programs
- There are estimated over 200,000 students participating in the above programs and there are many other programs in the state that are run by churches and other entities.
- It is already legal to carry in many other places where high school students are commonly found (restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, parks, festivals).
- It is already legal to carry in high schools when picking up and dropping off a student.
- Hundreds of thousands of people are exempt from the prohibition against carrying in K-12 (people in the military, police, judges, court clerks, etc.)
To email the governor, you must go here and fill out the form.
This afternoon HB 859 PASSED the Georgia State Senate Floor vote by a margin of 37-17.
We would like to thank the members of the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Rules Committee and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle for taking up this bill, allowing it to be heard and vetted and put before the Senators for their consideration.
A special thanks to Senator Jesse Stone for his great work shepherding this bill through the Senate.
The bill now heads to the Governors desk to await his action to either sign the bill into law, veto the bill or do not sign the bill and allow it to become law without his signature. We expect the first option, sign into law but we still need to keep contacting the governor requesting he sign the bill into law.
I will assure you the George Soros/Michael Bloomberg groups will continue to hound him to veto the bill. We also need to let him know we want the bill signed.
To email the governor, you must go here and fill out the form.
If you wish to write him, feel free to do so. Governor Deal’s address and phone number is below.
Office of the Governor
206 Washington Street
111 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334PhoneFax:
We have been informed that the Senate will hold a floor vote on HB859, The Campus Carry Act tomorrow.
Please contact your Senator and ask him/her to support HB859 with NO ADDED amendments….
If you are not aware of your Senator’s contact information, go to this link and put in your address. You state legislators will appear with their contact information. As always, please be polite when contacting your elected officials as they are only doing the jobs you elected them to do.
Thanks to all members who have worked so hard to get this far.
HB859 was read and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill will probably be heard week of 2/29/16. Please keep watch for further information on how you can help pass HB859 out of the committee.
On February 19, 2016, HB859 was assigned to the House Floor Calendar for a Monday February 22, vote.
We need all members and their friends to contact their State Representatives this weekend and ask them to vote for HB859. As always, please be respectful in all your correspondence with our elected officials.
If you are unsure of your elected officials, click here and input your address. Your state Representative and Senator information will appear.
If HB859 passes the House, it will then be sent to the Senate to begin the process again. The bill will be read to the Senate, assigned to a Committee, heard in that committee and if agreed to, will go to the Senate Rules Committee and hopefully be assigned to the Senate Calendar for a floor vote in the Senate. We will notify you which committee it is assigned to and ask that you contact that committee’s members. We have no timeframe as to when the bill will be assigned to a committee at this time.
This morning, our other bill was dropped into the House Hopper. It is HB1060, which is outlined in our Current Bills section and can be read in its entirety at the link above.
We need tocontact both our Representatives and Senators. Our Representatives now on HB859 and HB1060 and hopefully our Senators after Monday’s vote on the House Floor of HB859.
GeorgiaCarry.Org has asked the City of Haralson, Georgia, to remove its “No Guns” signs after a city official informed a GeorgiaCarry.Org member that she would be arrested if she continued carrying a gun in the City of Haralson Park. The reason given was the presence of “children in the park.”
GeorgiaCarry.Org’s letter can be viewed here.
In response to the letter, the City Attorney has advised the City of Haralson that nobody should be arrested in response to the signage in the park. He is also looking into removal of the signs. We will provide you an update when it is available.