Does anyone know If HB 615 has passed the house or not. HB 615 would repeal Georgia's public gathering law and make other favorable changes to Georgia law.
This is Part 3 in a series on bills in the Georgia General Assembly affecting your right to bear arms. For Parts One and Two, see the links at the bottom of thepage.
HB 615 is a bill that would eliminate once and for all the Jim Crow public gathering law passed in 1870 to ensure that newly freed slaves would be rendered defenseless at public gatherings throughout Georgia. HB 615would also clarify Georgia's confusing laws, removing the more onerous restrictions on where a person can carry a handgun and making sure that any places "off limits" by law are listed in one concise code section that any normal Georgia citizen can read and understand. You may read the bill for yourself here.
The bill is lengthy, butthe following summaryhighlightsHB 615's key provisions. Section 1: Many people do not realize that it is a crime in Georgia to conceal weapons other than firearms, such asknives, even with a license. Section 1 permits the carry of concealed weapons with a license. Section 2: This section repeals the current public gathering law and replaces it with a very short list of places off limits. More importantly, it declares the authority of alicense holder to carrya firearm in every location in thestate not listed in this one section, so that people carrying a firearm need to study only one Codesection to know whether they are legal. Thereis an exception to protectprivate property rights. The list of places off limits in HB615 is short, including only the portions of buildings that house a courtroom, jail, or prison, which would make Georgia like a few other states, such as New Hampshire, Oregon, and California (for those with a California firearms license). Section 3: The third section removes the requirement of a license for carrying a pistol or revolver openly, which is already the law in Georgia for long arms, such as rifles and shotguns. Thiswould make Georgia the 28th state to have a similar law. Many people are not aware that the majority of states require no license to carry a handgunopenly. It is also apparent to anybody who has been a police officerthat criminals do not carry handguns openly inbelt holsters for police and the public to see. Georgia is one of 12 states to require a license to carry a pistol or revolver openly, and it adopted its law in 1910, to provide a way to arrest black Georgians who dared to carry pistols. This is one more Jim Crow law that will be repealedby HB 615. Section 4: The fourth section of HB 615 changes the licensing law andprovides that the Secretary of State will issue licenses for concealed carry. It alsoprovides for an optional lifetime license. Because this lifetimelicense will not be exempt under federal law from the NICS background check when purchasing firearms, Section 4 leaves in place the standard 5 year license for those who want one. Sections 5 and 6: These sections remove the state's abilityto seize weapons and suspend their sale duringa time of emergency. There is an exception in the current Georgia law if you can prove the weapon was lawfully acquired before the state of emergency was declared, but some people are unsure how to prove such a thingin the aftermath of a flood under the pressure oftwenty government agentspointing guns and demanding the weapon. There is also a federal law providing for civil actions against state actors who seize weapons during emergencies. Many states have laws prohibiting weapons seizures, with most passing after the Katrina seizures were broadcast on television news by ABC. Such states include Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida (passed without a single dissenting vote), and California (yes, California).
Not really "stuck". The bill died when the legislative session ended. SB308 is what we got out of this year's session (would have gotten SB291 also but it was vetoed-Legislature may override when they reconvene.)