ATLANTA, Ga. (Jan. 29, 2017) – A so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill filed in the Georgia House would make it legal for most Georgians to carry a firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
A coalition of six Republican representatives introduced House Bill 156 (HB156) on Jan. 26. The legislation would allow “a lawful weapons carrier” to carry a concealed handgun subject to the same restrictions formerly placed on concealed carry license holders.
‘Lawful weapons carrier’ means any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a weapon or long gun, any person who is licensed pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129, or any person licensed to carry a handgun or weapon in any other state whose laws recognize and give effect to a license issued pursuant to this part.
Practically speaking, HB156 would would allow persons not otherwise prohibited by other laws to carry concealed weapons without a license.
HB156 would still allow Georgia residents to obtain a conceal carry license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with the state.
While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like passage of HB156 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.
At the time this article was written, SB156 had not been assigned to a committee. Once it receives an assignment, it will need to pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.