ATLANTA, Ga. (March 25, 2022) – Yesterday, a Georgia Senate committee passed a bill to legalize permitless carry in the state. The enactment of this so-called “constitutional carry” bill would also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control.

A coalition of Republicans introduced House Bill 1358 (HB1358) in February. Under the proposed law, a “lawful weapons carrier” would be able to carry concealed handguns everywhere concealed carry license holders are currently allowed without getting a state-issued permit. The concealed carry permitting program would remain in place for those wishing to get a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm in states with CCDW reciprocity with Georgia.

On March 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB1358 by a 5-2 vote. The committee amended the bill to reflect language passed by the Senate earlier this session. The House has already passed HB1358 by a 94-57 vote.


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 “constitutional carry” lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourage a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.


HB1358 will move to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Mike Maharrey

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