Georgia Members Please Read


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Mike J
April 28, 2010, 01:28 PM
Last night, the House passed SB291 with no amendments by a vote of 120-37. SB291 now goes to the governor for his signature. The governor will sign it into law, ignore the bill and allow it to become law or veto the bill. Should he veto, the bill would still be subject to an over ride by a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate.

SB308 is still waiting to be sent to the floor. There is no calendar posted at this time for tomorrow's session. Tomorrow is day 40 and the bill must be passed on the floor or it will die. Please continue to contact your elected officials and politely urge the passage of SB308.

On the GCO Website, the Georgia Legislative Page contains information on finding and contacting your elected officials. The information may be found here.

GCO is supporting both these bills while continuing to push for small modifications in SB308.

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Mike J
April 28, 2010, 01:31 PM
Hope ya'all don't mind that I just copied & pasted the above from a GaCarry update but as stated SB 308 will die if it does not come to the floor. Please contact your representatives. This would repeal the vague "public gathering" law that is the bane of Georgia Firearms License holders.

Mike J
April 30, 2010, 02:59 PM
Okay so probably most of ya'all know that SB 308 & SB 291 have both been passed but now we need the Governor to sign the bills into law. If you would like to send a short, polite E-mail to the Governor to ask him to sign these bills here is the link. http://www.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,78006749_94820188,00.html

Arrogant Bastard
April 30, 2010, 04:17 PM
How is that "Public Gathering" clause in GA commonly interpreted?

Has a DA ever weighed in, offering his opinion as clarification?

Hunt480
April 30, 2010, 06:28 PM
I sent an email to the gov...I think Sonny will sign the bills though, an outgoing governer dont really care about the press attention he might get.

janedoedad
April 30, 2010, 09:18 PM
How is that "Public Gathering" clause in GA commonly interpreted?


That is the problem with these laws. You can ask any 5 Judges, 5 District Attorneys or 5 LEO's and you will receive 15 different answers.

The Public Gathering laws here in Georgia are vague and ambiguous.

From Georgiapacking.org. This is a laymans version of our PG laws:

Public Gatherings: It is against the law (misdemeanor offense) for a person (licensed or not) to carry to or while at a public gathering any explosive compound, firearm, or knife designed for the purpose of offense or defense (including ANY deadly weapon not listed here). A public gathering is defined and includes, but is not limited too, athletic or sporting events, churches or church functions, political rallies and/or functions, publicly owned or operated buildings(Fed, state, or local government buildings), and establishments at which alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises and it derives less than 50 percent of their total annual gross food and beverage sales from the sale of prepared meals or food (Basically bars but not restaurants with bars in them. Check their business license if you are not sure as the state license lists what is a restaurant that servers alcohol and what is a bar. Does not apply to stores that sell alcohol for consumption somewhere else, like liquor stores, gas stations, etc.). Nothing in this code section shall otherwise prohibit the carrying of a firearm in any other public place by a person licensed or permitted to do so. (This means licensees are permitted to carry in stores, malls, financial institutions, and other places open to the public) Five areas are specifically defined as public gatherings, but since the definition of a public gathering is not limited to the five areas, what else could be considered a public gathering? Attorney general Mike Bowers issued an opinion that addresses this very issue. In his definition a public gathering is "a place in which the public gathers or will gather for an particular event or function and does not apply to a place (such as a shopping mall, Walmart, grocery store, McDonalds; see State v. Burns), where people may gather even in large numbers when there is no event or function". So basically a public gathering in addition to the 5 defined areas is an event or function that the general public gathers or will gather for. This may be a parade, music event, free contests, presentation speakers, or any other publicized event that the general public can gather for. Remember however if a public place that is not off limits by the definition of this code section CAN still be defined as a public gathering IF any of the activities defined above are taking place on the premises. i.e. a mall that is hosting a public speaker or a music concert or portions of the mall that hold religious services or portions leased to a government agency.

Also keep in mind that this prohibition also applies to the grounds that are on or in close proximity of the "public gathering". i.e. the parking lot of a bar, stadium, church, or the common area of the premises that is hosting a "public gathering". It is an affirmative defense to violation of this code section if a person notifies any law enforcement officer or security guard employed to provide security for the public gathering, if you are in possession of a deadly weapon while at a public gathering as soon as you learn of it's presence and you surrender or secure such weapon as directed by the law enforcement officer or security guard providing security for the public gathering. (This does not mean you can carry to a public gathering, this section means that if you are carrying to a public gathering and you realize that you accidentally brought your weapon, then you can come forward to a LEO or security guard and surrender your weapon without risking arrest. This code section is clearly criminal in nature and the burden is on the state to show intent to violate this code section) This law shall not apply to competitors participating in a sport shooting or gun event, law enforcement officers, district attorneys, judges, magistrates, solicitors, persons in the state or US military and more. Please see 16-11-130 for the full list. (16-11-127, Carroll co. probate court, AG opinion U96-22)


Clear as mud, right?

tignalljeeper
May 1, 2010, 01:33 AM
PG won't be an issue any more though if ole' Sonny will sign SB308

Mike J
May 1, 2010, 10:48 AM
Sign it or ignore it-as long as he doesn't veto it.

MIL-DOT
May 1, 2010, 01:54 PM
Thanks Mike,nice heads-up, I just sent a letter in,too. :)

Mike J
May 1, 2010, 07:09 PM
Thanks Mil-Dot, Just passing along what I had seen from GeorgiaPacking & GeorgiaCarry. I really hope Sonny signs off on SB 308. I just read the as passed version of it & it looks a lot better than what we have now.

NOLAEMT
May 1, 2010, 08:41 PM
email sent

(i will be moving to Georgia in about a month so i guess my opinion counts)

Mike J
May 3, 2010, 01:41 AM
NOLAEMT-If you have any questions about Georgia, Firearms Law or anything else feel free to PM me. If I don't know the answer I'll try to find it for you.

Wolvee
May 3, 2010, 01:59 AM
They just keep taken and keep taken....

Mike J
June 8, 2010, 06:36 PM
I wanted to say Thank You to all who wrote, called or E-mailed about these 2 bills. SB 308 was signed by Governor Perdue today. SB291 was vetoed. I would have liked for SB 291 to have passed also but I am very happy that the "public gathering clause" is a thing of the past in Georgia Firearms Law.

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