New Gun Laws In Georgia and Their Effects

by Vernon H. Smith on November 5, 2014

Georgia’s Safe Carry Protections Act went into effect on Tuesday, July 1, creating a variety of mixed reactions from around the country. The bill, which passed both houses overwhelmingly and was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal, expands the places where gun owners with licenses to carry may exercise their Second Amendment rights, including churches, schools, bars, and even some governmental buildings, including airports.

criminal defense attorny weapon at airport

It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” law so that it applies to those who have been previously convicted of felonies. In addition, the new law prevents a police officer from demanding without cause a person with a gun to produce his or her license to carry it.

This Bill may well be good news for those unfortunate enough to accidentally leave a pistol in their luggage while attempting to board a plane. In the past, this would trigger state criminal charges at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, often resulting in arrest, incarceration, heavy fines, and a forfeiture of the weapon seized. The new law likely changes this policy. Now, in theory, the policy will be changed if you possess a valid gun permit. Now, while you may be forced to remove your weapon from the airport, you would not be subject to arrest under state law.

Deal exulted, calling it “a great day to reaffirm our liberties,” adding, “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds.”

Bear in mind, that many national chains were swift to react to the bill, including Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle. Each has requested gun owners to leave their firearms outside before coming in to shop, drink coffee, or eat dinner. On Wednesday, Target’s interim CEO John Mulligan wrote to his team members on the Company’s blog:

The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.

As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so.

But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law.

It is important to note that, at least in Target’s case, this is nothing more than a request. There were no directives issued for those that choose to not respect the wishes of the national chain.

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