Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will sign legislation on Wednesday, April 30th 2014, that permits licensed gun owners to carry their firearms in more public places than before, to include churches, bars and government buildings that do not have a security checkpoint.
Critics are calling it the most permissive gun law in the nation, while supporters are hailing it a monument to the spirit of the 2nd Amendment. Governor Deal extended the law to permit the carry of a firearm to active duty military personnel 18 and above stating; “If they are old enough to carry a weapon in defense of their country, they are old enough to carry a weapon in defense of themselves.”
The law as it is written protects private property owners in that it preserves their power to deny entry to anyone carrying a gun on their premises, and can set rules that make sense to them, without violating the law or infringing on the rights of gun – owners.
Under this law, patrons can carry their firearm into a bar unless the bar owner tells them to leave. Prior to the law, firearms worn into a house of worship was illegal. Now, under the Safe Carry Protection Act, the gun licensed gun owner can bring a gun only with the permission of that Church’s leadership. If violated, they face a $100 fine. If a non-licensed gun owner brings a gun to the Church, they will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Perhaps, considered by some as the most controversial of all is the Safe Carry Protection Act will empower local school boards to vote on whether they will let teachers or school staff to carry guns on campus. Staff members will be required to file an application with the school board, then under go “Judgement Pistol Shooting”, “Marksmanship” training, and review of Georgia laws regarding self-defense shooting. Staffers will be required to own a safe or lock box to store the weapon, if they are not carrying it on their person on campus.
In a complete reversal of what is one of the most onerous violations of constitutional principles in the name of security is under the Safe Carry Protection Act, licensed gun owners will be allowed to have their firearm in airport common areas. If they mistakenly bring it past a checkpoint area, they will be permitted to retrieve their property without criminal penalty. They cannot bring it past TSA check-points because that is federally controlled and not a State controlled area.
The Safe Carry Protection Act permits licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into unsecured government buildings, but not into buildings with security checkpoints or metal detectors. The idea behind this portion of the law is an expression of trust for licensed gun owners in towns or municipalities lacking the funds to hire security guards for their buildings. Most of all, there will be no data-base of gun-owners or would the creation of one be permitted. Additionally, the law eliminates the redundancy of paying for renewing individual weapons carry permits.
In Rockland County, a local newspaper published the names and addresses of privately owned firearms, identifying them to potential gun thieves or target them for armed robbery. It caused a firestorm of criticism.
In New York, Governor Cuomo and 43 New York State Senators, passed the S.A.F.E. Act which limited the quantity of rounds a licensed gun owner could have in their weapon, along with other infringements attached to harsh penalties. Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act” and New York’s S.A.F.E. act stand in stark contrast to each other. Both claim to protect the public from violent criminals without infringing on their constitutionally protected 2nd Amendment rights. One seems to trust their licensed gun – owner citizens with greater latitude, while the other seems to mistrust their licensed gun-owners by heaping on them multiple impediments and harsh penalties, designed to discourage private gun – ownership.