Georgia Gun Law Changes

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

AJC.com:

The content of HB 60, the omnibus gun bill passed by the Legislature last Thursday, is finally available online and in hard copy at the state Capitol.

Two areas are likely to spark some controversy. First, there’s a requirement that holders of concealed weapons permits must have that license on their persons when they carry. Which is immediately followed by the caveat that cops aren’t allowed to stop anyone solely to check for that permit:

(a) Every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, or if such person is exempt from having a weapons carry license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-130 or subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-127.1, he or she shall have proof of his or her exemption in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of the applicable provision of Code Sections

(b) A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.

Howard Sills, sheriff of Putnam County, noted the language as the bill passed last week:

“Then there is one sentence, and it destroys everything, ” Sills said.

That one sentence says police may not detain anyone to demand to see a weapons permit. That means, Sills said, that if someone is walking down the street late at night with a pistol stuck in his waistband, police may not stop him and ask to see his weapons permit.

I don’t have much to say about this except notice the sleight of hand by the CLEO.  What the proposed law says is that you must have your permit with you, and then they made it clear that there will be no “stop and identify” authority.

As it is now, Georgia is a stop and identify state (with some form of law intended for loitering).  They are undoing that.  That has no bearing on the issue of permits, and the CLEO knows it.  He knows that he told a lie when he said one sentence “destroys everything.”

  • Archer

    Depending on the format of the GA carry permits, I don’t see this as a big deal for permit holders. In Oregon, this is part of the carry laws; if you’re carrying a concealed handgun, you must also carry your permit, and being caught without the permit is treated as if you don’t have one. It’s not difficult to keep the permit on one’s person; they use a similar format as for driver’s licenses: a wallet-sized laminated card (the format isn’t a matter of convenience for law-enforcement; it’s defined by statute).

    (Psst… Around here they treat driver’s licenses the same way. Get caught driving without the license, and you’re treated as if you are “driving without a license.” Sure, they can look you up in their computer, but part of the responsibility of driving is that you carry your license with you when you drive. Proof of liability insurance is also the same; you MUST be able to produce the insurance card, or it’s treated as if you have none.)

    Now, as for removing the “stop and identify” authority, I think only the CLEO will be upset about that. A person acting suspiciously will be acting suspiciously whether or not he/she has a visible weapon. The mere presence of a weapon is not, in itself, reasonable suspicion, any more than driving a vehicle is, in itself, reasonable suspicion of driving without a license.


You are currently reading "Georgia Gun Law Changes", entry #12069 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published March 25th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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