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GA - House will discuss concealed weapons bill in their cars

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Desertdog, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Ridgecrest Ca
    There is a lot of comments at the end of the story.

    House will discuss concealed weapons bill
    By Jeremy Redmon | Monday, February 12, 2007, 11:15 AM
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A proposed law that would allow motorists to conceal firearms in their cars has cleared a key legislative committee and is on its way to Georgia’s House of Representatives for a vote as soon as Monday.

    Some Georgia police chiefs and other critics say House Bill 89 would endanger police making traffic stops. Proponents say the measure would protect their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    State law now requires motorists who do not have handgun permits to keep their firearms “fully exposed to view” or in the glove box, console or similar compartment.

    State Rep. Tim Bearden’s (R-Villa Rica) bill would allow people to hide guns under seats or wedge them between seats cushion and consoles.

    After a brief debate Saturday, the Rules Committee recommended the House pass the bill. Several lawmakers peppered Bearden with probing questions during a hearing before the committee vote.

    “Over the weekend our law enforcement officials approached me about this bill and they expressed their concern for the safety for their officers if we do pass such a measure,” said House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley (D-Columbus). “And they asked that we carefully consider doing this in light of the more dangerous position we would put officers in as they approach vehicles.”

    Bearden attempted to deflect Hugley’s criticism.

    “Once again we have to make sure we understand this is for law-abiding citizens that will not pose a danger to our law enforcement officers,” Bearden said of his bill. “This is protecting the citizens who [have] the right to protect themselves in their homes. And the car is an extension of their homes.”

    Another lawmaker asked Bearden if more safeguards could be added to his bill for children.

    “Are there any protections for the children at all?” asked Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta). “Could you make the proposition a little stronger as far as safety locks or anything like that?”

    Bearden contended his bill would make it for safer for youngsters traveling in cars with firearms.

    “The person already has the right to have the gun in plain view on the front seat or on the dash,” Bearden said. “But we are allowing the citizen to put it in a more secure place in the vehicle to make sure that child does not get a hold of the firearm. I think that is a safety aspect in itself.”

    Bearden’s measure is one of several gun-related bills now pending in the Legislature.

    A second bill now in the House Rules Committee would ban police officers, National Guardsmen and others from confiscating guns during a state of emergency such as a hurricane. And a third proposal pending in the House Non Civil Judiciary Committee and in the Senate would prohibit certain public and private employers from barring workers from keeping firearms in locked vehicles at employee parking lots or garages.

    The National Rifle Association supports Bearden’s bill.

    “Very often people who are driving don’t have the luxury of keeping their firearm in plain view,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “Depending on what kind of car or truck they are driving, they might not have the ability to do that. It also depends on how many passengers they have in the car and the demographic of those passengers.”

    Four police chiefs representing communities in Cherokee County - including Woodstock, Holly Springs, Ball Ground and Canton — have gone on record against the bill.

    “House Bill 89 increases the threat to the safety of our officers by allowing non-permit holders to carry loaded firearms on their person while in a vehicle,” the police chiefs wrote in a Feb. 1 email sent to lawmakers, “inhibiting [the] ability of our officers to distinguish between a law-abiding citizen and a deviant one.”

    Georgians for Gun Safety is also opposed to the measure.

    “It erases the distinction that currently exists between someone who can purchase a firearm… and those who can pass the comprehensive background check to get a concealed weapons permit,” said Alice Johnson, executive director of Georgians for Gun Safety, which promotes responsible gun ownership.

    “Many people are turned down for those permit applications because of something in their background that was identified because of that more comprehensive background check.”
  2. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    Everything is a danger to cops according to the legislators.
  3. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    United Socialist States of Obama

    Ah, yes, the children.

    Actually, it sounds like some Police Chiefs were the ones who thought this law would be a danger to police officers, and they simply expressed their opinion to legislators. Once again, the law enforcement community seems to be against 2nd amendment rights. Remember how they were going to help push for national CCW reciprocity just as soon as they got it first?
  4. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

    Aug 4, 2003
    Already contacted my state rep - and got a generic "thank you for your concern" email. Didn't say how he was going to vote but I hope he knows I'm watching... :scrutiny:

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