Georgia pushes for more guns in schools and churches. Set to end conceal carry laws.
Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw) has introduced four pieces of legislation aimed at making guns more accessible and easier to carry in public parks, historic sites, recreational areas, schools, colleges, churches and during states of emergency.
HB 26 – Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2013. This bill would allow Georgians to carry guns in public parks, historic sites, or recreational area. It would also allow anyone to carry a weapon without a permit. It defines “lawful weapons carrier” as any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a weapon or long gun, any person who is licensed pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129, or any person licensed to carry a handgun or weapon in any other state whose laws recognize and give effect to a license issued pursuant to this part.
HB 27 – Restoring Gun Rights During State of Emergency Act of 2013. This bill would prohibit the governor from limiting the buying and selling of guns during a declared state of emergency. Essentially, at a time of high stress and fear, it would allow guns to be freely disseminated among the population.
HB 28 – Restoring Private Property Rights for Places of Worship Act of 2013. This bill would repeal the ban on carrying firearms and other weapons in places of worship – such as a church, mosque, or synagogue.
HB 29 – Georgia Campus Carry Act of 2013. This bill would allow individuals to carry guns on any public or private college campus in the state.
Rep. Gregory is a proponent of what is called “Constitutional Carry.” The logic of Constitutional Carry is:
“To ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good.” — George Washington
Just as the first amendment allows an unencumbered freedom of speech, proponents of Constitutional Carry, believe that the second extends an equal freedom unto the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, the only limitation to this right should be the equal and insubordinate rights of another. In sum, the only limitation on an individuals rights under the second amendment should be where such right interferes with another individuals rights.
Under this rubric, an individual should be allowed to carry a firearm of any type, anywhere, anytime so long as they do not use it to unjustly harm another individual or unduly burden their expression of freedom. Just as you are not required to register with the Government to go to church or to speak there is no reason to have to register with the Government to purchase or carry a firearm.
Constitutional Carry would however still allow for criminal background checks as a “reasonable” regulation on ones inherent liberty interest in the right to bear arms just as there are some regulations on other freedoms.
Finally, Constitutional Carry would prevent “gun discrimination.” Gun discrimination is a concept best exemplified in proposals such as the assault weapons ban and regulations on magazine capacity. Often, politicians who have only a loose understanding of firearms will propose bans on certain guns based on their physical appearance instead of being based on their functionality. For example, a Ruger 10/22 is a .22 caliber hunting rifle with a 10 bullet magazine used to kill small animals such as birds or squirrels. However, if the exact same gun is given a collapsible stock, pistol grip, 25 bullet magazine, site and bi-pod the same gun resembles a military rifle. It still has the same rate of fire, the same caliber and the same accuracy/range. However, since it looks like an “assault rifle” legislatures have attempted to ban it. Ironically, a Barrett .50 caliber M82 sniper rifle that is deadly from up to 2 miles in the right hands and can shoot through an armored wall or bullet proof vehicle still remains perfectly legal and unregulated as it only has a 5 bullet magazine.
It will be interesting to see if these proposals pass in Georgia’s Republican controlled government. For more information on Constitutional Carry visit: http://georgiagunowners.org/