Local reps work to allow guns in more locations
by Joshua Sharpe
February 16, 2014 04:00 AM | 3652 views | 8 8 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“It basically empowers the private property owners to make that decision, rather than the state saying, ‘You own a bar; nobody can carry guns in your bar.’ We let you make that decision as a private property owner, rather than be dictated by the state,” said State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton).
“It basically empowers the private property owners to make that decision, rather than the state saying, ‘You own a bar; nobody can carry guns in your bar.’ We let you make that decision as a private property owner, rather than be dictated by the state,” said State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton).
slideshow
“I believe in campus carry and church carry. I just believe that law-abiding adults should have the right to defend themselves wherever they’re at. It’s certainly a bill that moves us in that direction," said Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia).
“I believe in campus carry and church carry. I just believe that law-abiding adults should have the right to defend themselves wherever they’re at. It’s certainly a bill that moves us in that direction," said Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia).
slideshow
“This bill removes several existing state restrictions regarding where law-abiding citizens can carry and also respects private property rights,” said Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta).
“This bill removes several existing state restrictions regarding where law-abiding citizens can carry and also respects private property rights,” said Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta).
slideshow
“My oath of office requires that I do all in my power to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Georgia. By allowing licensed Georgians further access to firearms and expanding their ability to carry, we are better protecting these guaranteed rights," said Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock).
“My oath of office requires that I do all in my power to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Georgia. By allowing licensed Georgians further access to firearms and expanding their ability to carry, we are better protecting these guaranteed rights," said Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock).
slideshow
Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) said this year’s version of the bill has struck a good “balance between public safety, property rights and the individual right to bear arms” and he is supportive.
Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) said this year’s version of the bill has struck a good “balance between public safety, property rights and the individual right to bear arms” and he is supportive.
slideshow
CANTON — Cherokee County’s state representatives are lining up behind a bill that would allow guns at some churches, bars and — under certain circumstances — schools.

All of the county’s state representatives are supportive of the Safe Carry Protection Act, which the House is expected to take up this week and would allow school boards and privately owned places to make their own decision on firearms.

State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton), the fourth signer on the bill, calls it an expansion of Second Amendment rights.

“It basically empowers the private property owners to make that decision, rather than the state saying, ‘You own a bar; nobody can carry guns in your bar.’ We let you make that decision as a private property owner, rather than be dictated by the state,” she said.

The current version of the bill would allow local boards of education to authorize personnel to carry weapons within school safety zones under certain circumstances. Churches, bars, restaurants and other private places could make their own call on guns and, like schools, would not have to allow them.

An earlier version of the same bill passed the House in 2013, when Ballinger was also a signer, but it fell short of becoming law in the Senate. She’s hopeful for better results this year.

“I think there’s been broad support for the bill throughout the House,” she said. “We’ve been getting more positive indications this year (from the Senate). I am hopeful they will try to move forward.”

Newly elected state Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia) said he couldn’t say how he’d vote on the measure until the final version was ready, but generally he likes the intent.

“I believe in campus carry and church carry,” Moore said. “I just believe that law-abiding adults should have the right to defend themselves wherever they’re at. It’s certainly a bill that moves us in that direction.”

Moore said his support was because the measure aims to let property owners make their own decision and doesn’t require them to let guns in.

“I would be opposed to any bill that would require a firearm anywhere,” he said. “Your Second Amendment right is a right to have a firearm if you so choose.”

State Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) also said it’s about rights.

“This bill removes several existing state restrictions regarding where law-abiding citizens can carry and also respects private property rights,” he said.

Carson’s fellow Cherokee representative, Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock), also feels the act preserves Second Amendment rights.

“My oath of office requires that I do all in my power to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Georgia,” he said. “By allowing licensed Georgians further access to firearms and expanding their ability to carry, we are better protecting these guaranteed rights.”

While the focus is guaranteeing gun rights, Ballinger said the bill also hopes to help keep firearms out of the hands of those who might not need to have them, such as those who’ve been adjudicated mentally incompetent to stand trial or anyone who’s been adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity.

Anyone who has been hospitalized as an inpatient at a mental hospital or alcohol or drug treatment center within five years of applying for a permit could also be denied, according to the bill.

Ballinger said some have taken issue to the references to mental health in the act, but in general not much is really changing when it comes to the mentally ill’s access to firearms.

“We’re just trying to increase compliance,” she said. “Basically, what we’re trying to do is increase record-keeping and reporting.”

State Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) said this year’s version of the bill has struck a good “balance between public safety, property rights and the individual right to bear arms” and he is supportive.

Turner, like Carson, Caldwell, Ballinger and Moore’s predecessor Calvin Hill (R-Canton), also voted for the bill in 2013.
Comments
(8)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Roger M
|
February 17, 2014
Our representatives here are only looking at the dollars that come with supporting such stupid ideas. Does everyone really want a society where everywhere you go everyone has a gun? All guns need to be registered and have a ballistics history on file, any law abiding citizen should not have an issue with that.
Sara B
|
February 17, 2014
Leave it to Ballinger to jump on this crazy train! I hope here family is never victim to gun violence, but she could care less about her constituents. Perhaps she should use her time and energy to address her campaign finance ethic issues instead of championing a tea party deal that endangers public safety. Despicable! Can't wait for her term to be over. I voted for her but have been very disappointed, and I am not the only one!
NICK M
|
March 02, 2014
I WOULD LOVE THE CHANCE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT YOU BROUGHT UP IN YOUR REPLY-IS THERE SOME WAY WE CAN SPEAK OFFLINE
Lisa Murad
|
February 17, 2014
Mandi, Scot, Sam, John, and Micheal,As a Cherokee County taxpayer and concerned citizen of my community and state, please address these questions publicly:

1.) Can you address the increased liability issues for business owners, schools, and commercial real estate property owners who allow guns onto the premises?

2.) Did the Guns Everywhere sponsors consult with the business community and with insurance companies with regards to liability premiums for business owners?

3.) How about tax payers? Surely the insurance premiums would go up for schools and local gov buildings that allow guns inside. Wouldn't those increased costs get passed on to the taxpayers?

4.) Does the NRA have something worked out with the insurance lobby on this?

5.) Why would someone need to bring a gun into a church building. Won't the added insurance liability for a church cut into donor coffers?

6.) How can GA remain competitive when children will be faced with administrators wearing guns inside their buildings? What companies will be able to relocate families here for their children to face the added danger?

7.) Won't it be harder for those businesses that allow guns inside their buildings to attract quality employees and clients?

8.) Won't businesses, churches, schools, etc... stand to risk being sued in the event of an accident?

9) Is it necessary to increase all of these expenses so that people can walk around public places with firearms?

10.) Do you think my questions are fair and rational?
Charles O. Hendrix
|
February 16, 2014
Only an idiot believes more people carrying more guns in more places will reduce gun violence. Only an idiot repeatedly claims they are protecting the "rights of citizens and the Constitution" when they know full well the Supreme Court has previously ruled it is NOT unconstitutional to forbid guns from being carried in places like schools and houses of worship. Only an idiot makes the claim this proposal allows private citizens the right to make the decision if guns can be carried in bars and churches and removes that decision from the state. They make this claim while the same proposal takes the right away from counties and cities to regulate where when and how guns can be carried. The only "law" that can made by cities or counties that do not agree with this insane legislation, is they are allowed to pas a law that would make it mandatory for heads of household own a gun. This too was already addressed. It is unconstitutional to force a person to own a gun. They will allow a law to be passed that is in direct conflict with the constitution and then have the unmitigated gall to say they are "protecting the Constitution"? Everyone of you clowns inthe House are simply pandering to a small segment of society. GeorgiaCarry. This inept and completely dysfunctionally House did not even write the damn law they are supporting. The NRA and GeorgiaCarry wrote this piece of crap and these clowns are supporting it for future political capital. You people are not representing the people of your districts. If you told them the truth, this law will not make people safer, it puts them in more danger of being a victim of gun violence, they would not support it. You are ALL little more than self serving slugs.
BHirsh
|
February 17, 2014
"Only an idiot believes more people carrying more guns in more places will reduce gun violence."

The evidence shows (per the FBI UCS) that wherever licensed concealed carry has been enacted, the rate of violent crime drops precipitously.

And that is a FACT.

Instead of regurgitating the programmed pap, try actually learning the truth.
ExNuke
|
February 17, 2014
You seem to have a real problem with the idea that you might have to actually make a decision for yourself, that someone else won't absolve you of the responsibility of thinking and choosing. "But what if I'm Wrong and it's my own fault? Who will I be able to blame?" Get angry at people for being adults and thinking for themselves if you like, just don't blow up to the point of shooting people to prove that the world is "wrong".
Charles O. Hendrix J
|
February 18, 2014
@ B Hirsch.. Keep believing that nonsense. The EVIDENCE proves wherever more guns are carried by more citizens, most assuredly so for SYG states.. homicides committed with a gun more than double. You clowns like to use the word "violent crime" and avoid "gun violenbce whenever possible. You do not address GUN VIOLENCE. Instead you regurgitate rhetoric as if it means as much as DEATH.. Hint it does not. People can recover from being a victim of "violent crime", not to mention the definition of "violent crime" is open to interpretation. They seldom recover from being the victim of gun violence. I might also add, you should educate yourself. http://www.nber.org/papers/w7967 More guns = more crime.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides