ATLANTA, Ga. (Dec. 29, 2020) – A “Constitutional Carry” bill prefiled in the Georgia House for the 2021 legislative session would make it legal to carry a firearm in the state without a license, fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
On Nov. 16, Rep. Philip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg) prefiled House Bill 2 (HB2), which would allow anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun could carry it without a state-issued license. The licensing program would remain in place to allow Georgians to obtain a concealed-carry permit for use in other states with CCDW reciprocity.
Currently, to obtain a concealed carry permit, Georgian gun owners must be 21 years old, have no felony or drug convictions, and they can not have been voluntarily or forcibly committed to a mental hospital for five years.
The legislation would repeal numerous sections of state law. At the same time, they impose restrictions on where a person can carry a firearm, concealed or not. That includes police stations, courthouses, polling locations, daycare, or preschools.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the 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 such as passing HB2 would lower barriers for those wanting 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.
HB2 will be officially introduced when the Georgia legislature convenes for the 2021 session on Jan. 11 and then referred to a committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.
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