Today, Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed into law House Bill 60 , the most comprehensive pro-gun legislation in state history. HB 60 passed in the Georgia Senate by a 37-18 vote on March 18 and in the state House of Representatives by a 112-58 vote on March 20. HB 60 will take effect on July 1, 2014.
HB 60 enacts the following pro-gun reforms for all law-abiding gun owners in Georgia:
- Removes fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
- Prohibits the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
- Creates an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
- Lowers the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
- Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
- Repeals the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
- Prohibits a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
- Codifies the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
- Requires reporting of those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing the ability for relief through an application process to the court system allowing for restoration of gun rights.
- Protects the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding gun owners from being restricted or infringed by executive authority under a declared state of emergency.
- Strengthens current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
- Removes the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
- Allows for churches to opt-in for legal carry with only a civil penalty of a $100 if a person happens to carry into a prohibited church unknowingly.
We thank NRA members, Second Amendment supporters, Georgia legislators and Governor Deal for their commitment to the passage and enactment of HB 60. The signing of House Bill 60 into law is the culmination of a very successful legislative session and provides law-abiding citizens of Georgia with a much-needed comprehensive pro-gun law.