April 25, 2014 Radio Commentary

29-Page Gun Law

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 25 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. The last day of the session is called “the most dangerous day of the session” for good reason. The hectic pace is so confusing it takes several days for House and Senate offices to sort out what happened. But, this year’s last day produced a new law to uphold the right of Georgians to carry firearms in public and on private property, even in declared emergencies.

H.B. 60 introduced by Representative Doug Holt drew its first breath of life on January 16th, and its supporters drew a sigh of relief when it passed the last day of the session. H.B. 60 defines firearms as “any handgun, rifle, shotgun, or similar device or weapon that will be or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge.”That means, individuals licensed to carry such a weapon may carry it onto any public or private property, unless the private property owner or manager objects or the government building restricts weapons on the premises. It, also, means that licensed carriers may transport a handgun or long gun in any private passenger vehicle, although individuals in legal control of private property may exclude or eject the person in possession of the weapon. So, bottom line for weapons on private property: It’s up to the property owner whether to allow or reject the carrying or transporting of firearms on the person or in a vehicle on that private property.

Regulations of firearms in declared emergencies will remain as they were before the emergency, and the governor cannot suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of firearms or ammunition or their components.

H.B. 60 allows authorized licensed individuals who complete special training to carry specified firearms in school safety zones. The weapon must be carried on the person – not in a purse, briefcase, bag or other accessory. Weapons not carried on the person must be securely locked in a safe or box. School safety zones include elementary, secondary, technical/vocational schools, colleges, universities, other postsecondary education, and local school boards.

At commercial airports, firearms are prohibited in restricted areas, but allowed in airport drives, general parking areas, walkways, or shops and areas normally open and unscreened. Gun shows may be regulated ONLY by the General Assembly. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.