This legislation, (recently signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal in April 2014), addresses several flaws in Georgia firearms laws (pertaining to Georgia Weapons Carry License or GWL) as follows:
- Remove fingerprinting for renewal of GWLs.
- Remove the total restrictions on GWL holders legally carrying a firearm in churches and bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
- Allow GWL holders to carry in non-secure government buildings
- Prohibit the state from creating and maintaining a database of GWL holders.
- Prohibit a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codify the ability to legally carry, with a GWL, in sterile areas of airports.
- Lower the age to obtain a concealed GWL from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
- Create an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack regardless of where you are.
- Remove the portion that allows the governor to restrict law-abiding gun owners from carrying their firearms during a declared emergency by executive order through Emergency Powers protection.
- Include a provision that would have the state report those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing the ability for relief through an application process to the court system for the purpose of restoration of rights.
- Strengthen current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
- Repeal unnecessary state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
In the photo, Gene Little takes a photo of his wife, Louise, in front of a sign at a House Bill 60 signing event in Ellijay, Ga. Wednesday April 23, 2014. The gun law is a broad loosening of Georgia’s gun restrictions. Photo by Brant Sanderlin, AJC.