HB60, Georgia’s new comprehensive pro-gun measures go into effect July 1st

Back in April, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a large pro-gun package that the NRA calls “the most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history.” This coming week on July 1st, these new laws will come into effect across the state.

A list of items (not a full list, but displays the highlights) from the Washington Post that will go into effect are as follows:

  • First, broadly speaking, the new law allows people with a license to carry a gun in the following locations:
    • Bars and associated parking facilities, though gunholders can be forced to leave upon notice by the property owner.
    • Government buildings (except where entry is typically screened during business hours by security personnel)
    • Places of worship (only with express approval)
    • School safety zones, school functions or on school-provided transportation (again, only with approval from the appropriate school official).
  • The bill expands the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a version of which rose to prominence in the legal debate over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Before, you couldn’t invoke that defense — which provides immunity from prosecution — if you used a banned firearm in self-defense. Now, you can: “this bill provides that a person will be immune from prosecution in using deadly force in self-defense or defense of others or property even if the person utilizes a weapon in violation of [the Georgia Firearms and Weapons Act],” the report finds.
  • Firearms dealers no longer need to maintain records of sales and purchases for state purposes. (Federal record-keeping requirements still apply, where applicable.)
  • The governor loses his authority to suspend or limit the carrying or sale of guns.
  • Banning or restricting lawful firearm possession in public housing is now illegal.
  • As the AJC reported, the new law expands the pre-emption of local laws. Before, cities could not regulate “gun shows and dealers through zoning or by ordinance,” AJC’s Kristina Torres reported. Now, that applies to all weapons.
    • Lamar Norton, head of the Georgia Municipal Association, said the package “would impose unnecessary costs on Georgia’s cities and opens them and other local governments up to frivolous litigation.”
  • The fingerprinting requirement for license renewals is now removed.
  • No one is allowed to maintain a database of information on license holders that spans multiple jurisdictions.
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