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Bills await governor’s action

POSTED: March 31, 2014 7:48 p.m.

At the end of the General Assembly, everyone always goes back and gets a grip on legislation that passed and how the provisions of bills evolved in the final hectic days of the session. However, the governor is doing the same thing but for different reasons. His office is reviewing bills passed for conflicts, constitutionality, and in some cases, to correct errors.

The state Constitution calls for a 40-day period following the General Assembly during which the governor has the option of signing legislation, both general and local bills, vetoing any of those, or simply allowing them to take effect without signing. This also applies to the general budget, where he has “line-item” veto power.

Starting this week, we will review legislation passed during the 2014 session, mostly in subject categories. This week, however, we will start with details of one of the most controversial bills of 2014, HB 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act or the “gun bill” as it became known.

First, there are a few things that are not in the final bill. There is no “campus carry” provision. Guns in churches continue to be banned unless the church “opts in” and allows them. Some of the provisions of the bill include the following:
• Limits distribution of the information in the permit holders’ database
• Allows 18-21-year-old active military members with specific firearms training to obtain a permit without meeting the residency requirements
• Allows hunters hunting only with permission of landowners to use sound suppressors
• Maintains permit holders or carry rights even during a state of emergency and prohibits the collection of weapons during emergencies
• Decriminalizes the possession of weapons while in a bar with the property owner having the right to bar firearms just like any other property owner
• Decriminalizes the carrying of weapons into government buildings where there is no restricted entry manned by a post-certified officer
• Tasks cerk of courts to notify the National Crime Data Center upon someone being adjudicated as mentally incompetent or involuntarily hospitalized
• Requires that a carry permit must be on an individual at all times but carries a civil penalty of $100 for violation
• Prescribes standards and training for employees authorized by school boards to carry weapons in school zone
• Gives a method of relief for an individual who is not issued a permit after meeting requirements
• Renewal of licenses will not require an additional fingerprinting since they are on file from the original application
• Public housing residents with permits cannot be treated any differently than on other property.

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at http://www.legis.ga.gov/

I may be reached at
234 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-5038 (phone)
(404) 657-7092 (fax)
E-mail at Jack.Hill@senate.ga.gov
Or call toll-free at
1-800-367-3334 day or night
Reidsville office: (912) 557-3811

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