While some states pass bills infringing on Second Amendment rights, Georgia is working to expand them.
The bill that has passed the Georgia House and Senate would, according to the National Rifle Association, prohibit the state from “creating and maintaining a database of concealed carry license holders.”
It also would:
- Strengthen “self-defense rights by creating an absolute defense for the use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.”
- Expand “protections against government confiscation of legally-possessed firearms during a state of emergency or natural disaster.”
- Allow sound suppressors while hunting.
Under current state law, guns are prohibited at airports, churches and bars. The bill would reverse those restrictions – with caveats. It would allow churches to “opt in” to permit firearms to be carried within the congregation, and it would prevent the confiscation of guns if a person with a permit accidentally carries a firearm through security. Guns in bars would be allowed, too, although owners could opt out.
The bill awaits action by Gov. Nathan Deal.
“House Bill 60 is the most comprehensive pro-gun bill ever passed in Georgia,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “It ensures that the law is on the side of law-abiding citizens and victims of crime. Among the reforms is a provision extending the right to self-defense to all law-abiding citizens, whether they live in a gated community, or public housing.”
Georgia is only the latest Southern state to expand gun rights in recent months.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill allowing concealed carry permit holders to take guns into restaurants, bars and other venues where alcohol is served – as long as the owner does not specifically prohibit the practice.
Under the new North Carolina law, concealed permit holders will also be permitted to store guns in locked cars on any public school or college campus. Firearms will be allowed at funeral processions, parades, on playgrounds, greenways and other public recreation areas
Previous North Carolina law stated:
It shall be unlawful for a person, with or without a permit, to carry a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in the person’s body any alcohol or in the persons’ blood a controlled substance previously consumed, but a person does not violate this condition if a controlled substance in the person’s blood was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts or if the person is on the person’s own property.
North Carolina first enacted concealed carry laws in 1995. The firearms permit is valid for five years unless revoked for specific violations. In 2011, a law was passed to recognize concealed carry permits issued in any other state. Despite the new law, guns still cannot be carried in any space occupied by state or federal employees
Also, concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina still must immediately present both photo identification and the permit upon request by an officer if they are carrying. A total of 36 other states honor North Carolina concealed carry permits.
What do you think about the Georgia and North Carolina laws? Let us know in the comments below.