Thursday, 03 July 2014 13:39

New Georgia Law Allows Gun Owners to Carry Everywhere, Almost

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Georgia’s Safe Carry Protections Act went into effect on Tuesday, July 1, and nearly everyone had an opinion about it. The bill, which passed both houses overwhelmingly and was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal, expands the places where gun owners with licenses to carry may exercise their Second Amendment rights, including churches, schools, bars, and some government buildings.

It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” law so that it applies to those who have been previously convicted of felonies. In addition, the new law prevents a police officer from demanding without cause a person with a gun to produce his or her license to carry it.

Deal exulted, calling it “a great day to reaffirm our liberties," adding, "The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds."

Joining in the exultation was Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, a Republican and member of the Tea Party Caucus, who added:

We know that when law-abiding citizens who know how to utilize a firearm have one on their person, it helps prevent crime. This is a law that I think is going to help prevent shootings, that it is going to help prevent crimes.

We see as we go forward that schools are going to be safer, that everybody around in any locale is going to be safer.… I think it’s going to be a very positive move.

On the other hand, Pia Carusone, an advisor to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by former member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords, referred to the new law pejoratively as the “guns everywhere” law and added:

Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines in the country’s busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children’s classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns.

Jerry Henry, executive director of the pro-gun group Georgia Carry, which lobbied for passage of the new law, openly carried his Kimber 1911 into a popular restaurant near the Georgia Tech campus on Tuesday, followed by a journalist who wanted to check other patrons’ reactions. There was no reaction. Said Henry:

The biggest misconception is that everybody is going to notice a difference with this law, but you’re not going to notice a difference.

There are very few things you can do now that you couldn’t do yesterday. The only change I could see coming is that you will be able to see guns on Sunday in churches.

Others were exercising their rights on Tuesday as well, including Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle. Each has requested gun owners to leave their firearms outside before coming in to shop, drink coffee, or eat dinner. On Wednesday, Target’s interim CEO John Mulligan wrote to his team members on the Company’s blog:

The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.

As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so.

But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law.

Mulligan has been persuaded that the presence of citizens exercising their right to bear arms might somehow disturb the shopping experience for his guests:

This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.

It was complicated, no doubt, by the campaign launched by a Bloomberg-funded group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to boycott Target. Shannon Watts, the founder of the group, took credit for the change of heart at Target:

Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home.

We hope our legislators are taking notice when women and mothers collectively raise our voices.

This is not an outright ban by Target but merely a “request,” with individuals also free to decide whether to carry, or not, or to shop there, or not. It appears that the new “guns everywhere” law in Georgia has expanded the freedom of everyone, including those such as Watts, who disagree. What she is doing is exercising her First Amendment rights, which happen to be backed up by the Second.

Last September Starbucks “requested” that gun owners leave their firearms behind while enjoying their cappuccino frappes in order to give them “a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.” In May Chipotle also “respectfully requested” that customers refrain from carrying while enjoying lunch or dinner.

Owners of business establishments such as Target, Starbucks, Chipotle and others are free to make such determinations — a precious right also guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

The “guns everywhere” law in Georgia is helping stoke the resurgence of “freedom everywhere” as a result.

 

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

4 comments

  • Comment Link David Croft Monday, 07 July 2014 08:41 posted by David Croft

    I live in Oklahoma, and our state legislature has passed and our govener has signed what I will call some decent gun legislation over the last few years, including the right to open carry rather than just concealed carry. However, buisnesses do retain the right to post their gun buster signes and refuse to allow us gun toting folks to come in. Of course, that just means they lose our buisness. A good example is the nation wide chain 7-11. Although I do find it interesting that they put their gun buster sign way down at the bottom of the door where you really have to look for it. What I will say is that I respect the right of any establishment, business, person, etc...to exercise their constitutional freedoms and rights also. My church, which fully supports our right to bear arms, including allowing carry classes to be taught at the church, still requires only concealed carry-no open carry-on premesis. And as for the businesses and establishments in the community; This means that they have the right to refuse to do business with someone they don't want to. They have the right to voice their disention with something they disagree with. And guess what; so do we. I refuse to do business with several well known large business chains because of personnal religeous convictions. And that folks, is one of the many things that makes this coutry great. We have the right to make our voices known with our votes, with our money, with our freedom of who we choose to do business with. And as soon as we start limiting the rights of those who disagree with us then we are no better than they are. I realize the argument here is one of us retaining our Second Amendment rights-or maybe getting them back. And there certainly has been a grass roots effort to do that. But let's keep the balance of our First Amendement at the same time. Because truthfully, that is rapidly being taken away. And once that is gone I can promise we will no longer have the ability to lobby for the Second Amendment, or any other Amendement for that matter.

  • Comment Link Barry Bright Sunday, 06 July 2014 10:26 posted by Barry Bright

    The foundation of the problem is that so many think the government of the people by the people is ‘allowed’ to ‘allow’ us to do do anything.

    The dense among us can’t comprehend that if no one or their property has been harmed then no ‘natural’ law has been broken.

    http://www.freekentucky.com/the-must-readwatch-page/

  • Comment Link Frank M. Pelteson Friday, 04 July 2014 10:01 posted by Frank M. Pelteson

    Michael Bloomberg, who, according to Forbes, is worth $36 Billion (with a B) is funding $50 million to defeat the National Rifle Association. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. For more on the Council, please read http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/1213council-on-foreign-relations .

    Can you connect the dots?

  • Comment Link Nora Friday, 04 July 2014 00:19 posted by Nora

    Well sort of...some churches here are stubbornly banning firearms, even though the law says they can be carried into churches. Freedom Rocks!

    As a GA resident for the last forty years, and a member of Georgia Gun Owners, I see it as a positive thing even though there are plenty of anti-gun people around me. Seems that Eric Holder's brainwashing scheme has been marginally effective in shaping some people's opinions about guns--the dumb ones who parrot what they hear in main stream media rather than thinking critically about important matters like the ability to defend yourself.

    These people would call the cops with the Obama phones in their purses of course, because they are afraid of guns, rather than use their last few seconds to defend themselves against an attacker. I wish the law stated that every single person had to spend an afternoon at the range learning to safely handle and shoot at least a pistol, if not a rifle or Ak-47.

    There are other significant caveats like repealing the fingerprint crap, and not keeping any sort of database on gun owners that could be misused for confiscation, in this new law.

    I'm sure I'm not the only person who absolutely hammered the idiots in congress and threatened to work tirelessly to remove them if any measures passed that supported gun control in any manner. With only a 50% constitutional voting record, it's a miracle the traitors who "represent" us caved in and got this one right.

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