2014 has been a historic year for civil rights in Georgia. House Bill 60 (HB 60), which has already been signed by Governor Deal, extends Georgians rights under the 2nd Amendment.
This is a very lengthy bill. However, below is a summary of some of the more important provisions of HB 60:
Churches / Bars • Bars are no longer off limits and treats them like every other piece of private property or restaurant in GA in that the property owner has the right to eject a person from their property.
• Allows the carrying of firearms if the church leadership agrees to allow guns in churches and establishes up to a $100 fine if caught carrying in a church that does not allow guns.
Government Buildings • Allows firearms in government buildings that are not restricted or screened by security personnel during the hours the building is open for business. NO GUNS IN COURT.
Public Housing • Require public housing to allow tenants to have firearms in their dwellings unless required by federal law or regulation.
Georgia Weapons Licensing (GWL):
• Removes fingerprint requirement for license renewals.
• Provides for issuance of GWL to a person who is at least 18 years of age who has completed basic training in the armed forces and is either actively serving in the military or has been honorably discharged from the service.
• Allows a person who has had his/her GWL revoked to be issued a GWL if the revocation was more than 3 years of the date of his or her application.
• Restricts any person who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent to stand trial or who has been adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity at the time of the crime.
• Allows GWL applicant the right to sue if they feel they are wrongfully denied a GWL and to recover their costs and reasonable attorney fees if they are the prevailing party.
• Prohibits any person or entity from creating or maintaining a multijurisdictional data base of information regarding persons issued GWLs.
GWL When Carrying • Requires carrying of GWL when carrying a weapon or for exempt persons, proof they are exempt.
• A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.
• If a person is caught carrying a weapon without a GWL the fine in court will be $10 if GWL is produced and was valid at the time of the arrest.
• Defense of self or others, shall be an absolute defense to any violation of off limits places. Mental Health:
• Requires Georgia Courts to notify the FBI if a person has had involuntary commitment to mental institution, been adjudicated mentally incompetent to stand trial or has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Declared Emergency:
• Strikes firearms and ammunition and components from the Governor’s Emergency Powers Act.
• No one, while acting during or pursuant to a declared state of emergency, shall:
• Temporarily or permanently seize, any firearm or ammunition which was not prohibited by law at the time immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency.
• Require the registration of any firearm.
There are other provisions to HB 60 and there are other laws associated with firearm ownership that have become law. HB 60 becomes law on July 1, 2014.
I want to say a special thank you to our local delegation who made this civil rights legislation possible; Sen. Mike Dugan, Rep. Dusty Hightower, and Rep. Kevin Cooke. These men are true patriots who are serving our people with honor and courage.