Archive for the '2007-2008 General Assembly' Category

Senate Votes to Disagree!

Friday, February 1st, 2008

The Georgia Senate this morning voted to disagree with the amendment to HB 89 that would do away with Goergia’s ambiguous and overly restrictive public gathering clause.  GCO considers this a vote against the right to bear arms.


Lawmakers Feel Georgia’s Gun Laws Are Too Restrictive

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Fox 5 News ran a story on December 30, 2007, regarding Rep. Bearden’s bill.  You may watch it here.  Rep. Benfield declares that HB 915 will endanger police officers, to which GCO must ask a question.  Why does she believe that we, the people licensed by the state of Georgia to carry concealed weapons, are no danger to police officers while in McDonalds, but we are suddenly a danger to police officers while in Pizza Hut?


Gun Owners of America Weighs in on HB 915

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

From Gun Owners of America’s Executive Director, Larry Pratt:

We look forward to passage of HB 915.  We appreciate Rep. Bearden’s leadership and’s effort to mobilize public support for this much-needed legislation.


HB 915, The Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

GCO fully supports the Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008, introduced today by Rep. Timothy Bearden, D. 68.  GCO’s top legislative priority for 2008 is the passage of HB 915.

Do you know:

Georgia has more places off limits to carrying a firearm than California. In fact, Georgia has more places off limits to carry than any state in the nation. Shocked, surprised, disgusted? Fed up? Finally ready to do something about it?

If so, mark your calendar to show your support of the 2nd Amendment Protection Act of 2008 (HB 915).  HB 915 rewrites the firearms laws of Georgia.  It is the most comprehensive overhaul of Georgia’s firearms laws, ever.  It removes conflicting, confusing, and overly restrictive laws, like Georgia’s unique “public gathering” law.  It decriminalizes open carry, like the majority of states.  It includes the Car Carry Bill from the 2007 session that GCO supported.  It stops capers like Mayor Bloomberg’s straw purchasers. Did we say it repeals the ambiguous public gathering law?  It requires timely issuance of firearms licenses – no excuses, and it includes the Katrina Bill, barring government confiscation of your firearms during an emergency.

Now it is your turn to stand up and support your rights.

This Bill needs massive public support to overcome the “wild-west, blood in the street” editorials that will surely follow its introduction. The Legislature needs to know that this Bill has broad public support. A crowd of voters turning up in downtown Atlanta mid-week to support this Bill will let them know just that.
January 10, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. before the steps of the state capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia is the place and time for YOU to be there for the press conference and rally. Bring family and supportive friends. You can also print out and pass around this flier to let others know of the rally.

If you can’t make the 10th, be prepared to write supportive letters to your legislators and the media. Follow the Bill’s progress. Be prepared to show up at hearings for the Bill.  Don’t sit around thinking you cannot make a difference.


GCO Wins in Georgia Court of Appeals!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Georgia has a statewide preemption law, but a small minority of Georgia cities and counties insist on violating it by enacting local ordinances regulating the carry and possession of firearms. GCO has been alone on the front lines of enforcing the state preemption statute against recalcitrant local governments. As a result, on December 4, 2007, a unanimous panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a concise opinion holding that the preemption statute means exactly what it says in “plain language.”

[W]e are mindful of the “golden rule” of statutory construction, which requires that we follow the literal language of the statute unless doing so “produces contradiction, absurdity or such an inconvenience as to insure that the legislature meant something else.” And the plain language of the statute expressly precludes a county from regulating “in any manner [the]. . . carrying . . . of firearms.” Under these circumstances, the preemption is express, and the trial court erred in concluding otherwise.

(Emphasis added). You may read the entire Court of Appeals opinion here. GCO wishes to thank attorney John Monroe for his diligent efforts on behalf of GCO and the right to bear arms in Georgia.


Are You Interested in the Timely Issuance of Your Firearms License?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

If you are, you might be interested to learn that Reps. Burke Day (163rd), Timothy Bearden (68th), Ron Stephens (164th), and Earl Carter (154th) are interested in you receiving your firearms license in a timely manner.  These representatives, in order, are the sponsors of HB 850, which is being introduced for the express purpose of ensuring timely issuance of Georgia Firearms Licenses.  From the introduction:

The General Assembly finds that the right of the people to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is crucial to protecting individual freedom and safeguarding the many liberties which are the cornerstones of this great nation. In preserving this right, it is essential that licenses to carry weapons be timely issued to law abiding citizens who are seeking to exercise their Second Amendment right in accordance with the laws of this state. It is the intent of this legislation to prevent unnecessary delays and hardships placed by local governments which infringe upon the exercise of Second Amendment rights. It is further the finding of this body that lawful Georgia residents are entitled to obtain a license to carry a pistol or revolver in a timely manner.

If your representative is among those listed above, please contact them and thank them for sponsoring HB 850.  If your representative is not listed above, please contact that representative and ask for support of HB 850!


April 14 Update on HB 89

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

On Monday April 16 at 9am, HB89 will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee. We can only guess that this is the NRA’s attempt to get SB43 (The employee parking lot bill) re-birthed and attached to HB89 to help it’s success of passage. While GCO is not opposed to SB43, we strongly discourage the addition of SB43 to HB89 as this can greatly reduced HB89’s chance of passage.

Due to the weekend, we have not seen the proposed language. But from what we can gather the language is still trying to be changed. Because of this we need members there once again to help and support HB89. GCO has supported HB89 from the beginning and GCO has been present at both committee hearings thus far on the bill. It is you, the members, that are responsible for getting HB89 this far. We shouldn’t let our hard work go to waste. Any members that are able and willing to attend this committee hearing to once again support HB89 is greatly appreciated. Remember you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, 90% of winning is just showing up.

Parking map for the area around the State Capitol

Senate Rules Committee Hearing Notice


March 29 Update on HB 89

Friday, March 30th, 2007

HB 89 3/29/07 Removed from General Calendar and committed to Rules Committee in Senate.

HB 89 was removed from the General Calendar for only one purpose, and that is to amend it by adding SB 43.  While it might be desireable to see both bills pass, adding SB 43 to HB 89 significantly decreases the chances of HB 89 becoming law.  HB 89 was expected to pass with a comfortable margin once it made its way to the Senate floor.

Please let the Senators on the Rules Committee know that you would like them not to amend  HB 89.


HB 89 Update

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

HB 89 will prevent the arrest and prosecution of law abiding motorists who are eligible for a firearms license and choose to conceal or partially conceal their firearm while riding in an automobile.  HB 89 is now in the Senate Rules Committee, which determines what bills are allowed to go to the Senate Floor for a vote and when that vote will be. 

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police calls HB 89 a dangerous piece of legislation, which means that they think you are “dangerous.”  They are asking their members to contact their State Senators and urge them to oppose HB 89.  In other words, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police wants the power to arrest you for partially concealing a handgun in your vehicle while you are waiting for six months or more on the probate court to issue your firearms license.

Anti-liberty forces are still active in opposing this bill, so please politely urge your Senator to vote in favor of the bill.

Looking for something fun to do this spring?  GCO is organizing a “meet and greet” at the General Assembly in the near future to meet with Senators regarding passage of HB 89.


Katrina Bill Stalled in Committee!

Monday, March 19th, 2007

The Katrina Bill, HB 6, is stalled in the House Rules Committee, which is the committee that calendars bills for debate and a vote on the House Floor.  HB 6 would abolish the Governor’s power to have firearms seized during a time of emergency and would permit lawsuits against law enforcement officers who illegally seize weapons and refuse to return them.  For those that do not remember what happened in New Orleans, please view this video.

Lousiana passed a Katrina Bill, as did the federal government.  Florida’s Katrina Bill passed both houses of its legislature unanimously, as not even one anti-gun legislator voted against it.  Georgia’s bill died in committee last year, and it will die in the Rules Committee this year unless people successfully urge that it be set for a hearing.

Rep. Ehrhart is the chairman of that committee, and his district is the area around Powder Springs (District 36).  This bill will die again this year if the Rules Committee does not set it for a vote by crossover day, March 27, 2007!  Please take the time to contact Chairman Ehrhart and politely urge him to set HB 6 for a vote on the floor of the house, by telephone, email, and in person.

This bill passed the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee easily, and GCO has been assured that the votes are there to pass it in the House if Rules will allow it to be heard.  So we need to request that the Rules Committee to allow it to be heard.