GCO Asks Governor Kemp to Suspend Enforcement of O.C.G.A 16-11-126

Pursuant to Chief Justice Harold Melton’s Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency, the Council of Probate Judges has determined that processing GWL applications is a “non-essential” function.  Applications are therefore not being accepted during the emergency.  GCO has requested that Gov. Kemp use his emergency powers to suspend enforcement of OCGA 16-11-126 (carrying a weapon without a license) until such time as probate judges resume issuing GWLs.  Below are the contents of the letter sent to Governor Brian Kemp.

John R. Monroe

John Monroe Law, P.C.

                                                                    March 19, 2020

The Honorable Brian Kemp, Governor

RE:          Request of GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc. to Suspend Enforcement of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 During COVID-19 Emergency

Dear Gov. Kemp:

I am writing you behalf of GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc.  As you know, Chief Justice Melton has declared a Statewide Judicial Emergency and has ordered judges not to perform “non-essential” functions.  The Council of Probate Judges has determined that issuing Georgia weapons carry licenses (“GWLs”) is “non-essential.”  For the duration of the Judicial Emergency, the State is not issuing GWLs or even accepting applications for them.

O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 prohibits carrying a weapon outside one’s home, automobile, or place of business without a GWL.  Violations are punishable as for a misdemeanor ($1,000 fine and 12 months in jail).

The only way our licensing requirement “works” constitutionally is with the relative ease for law-abiding citizens to  obtain a GWL.  We have moved from the status quo ante of relative ease to the current state of sheer impossibility of obtaining a GWL.

In order to preserve the Second Amendment and State Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens during the emergency, I therefore request that you use your emergency powers to suspend enforcement of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126 for the duration of the emergency.  This request is not a drastic one.  Dangerous people such as convicted felons and mentally ill will remain prohibited under state and federal law (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-131; 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)) from even possessing firearms, let alone carrying them.  The request would only allow people who already are permitted to possess firearms to carry them outside their homes, automobiles, and places of business in order to protect themselves and their families during this time of crisis.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and your leadership during this emergency, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

John R. Monroe

Vice President, GeorgiaCarry.Org, Inc.

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