Georgia Comes Out Shooting

• State follows national trend in easing overly restrictive gun laws.

By Keith Johnson —

Georgia has become the latest state to claim a major victory in the ongoing struggle to preserve our cherished constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

On April 23, Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed H.B. 60, otherwise know as the Safe Carry Protection Act, which allows licensed gun owners to carry their firearms almost anywhere in the state, including government buildings like schools and even some portions of public airports and courthouses.


“Our nation’s founders put the right to bear arms on par with freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Governor Deal stated in a press release. “Georgians cherish their Second Amendment rights, and this law embodies those values.”

The bill has been widely applauded by Second Amendment groups throughout the country, including the National Rifle Association, which describes it as the “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history” and GeorgiaCarry.Org, whose executive director, Jerry Henry, recently stated that the bill will “restore our right to carry and be allowed to protect ourselves anywhere we go.”

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, also spoke highly of the bill.

“It’s a good step forward,” he said during a recent interview with this AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter. “This is certainly not the end of the game but it does show that we’re making progress.”

Although Pratt believes Georgia’s new law is indicative of a nationwide trend in favor of gun rights, he warns that a rarely discussed threat on
the horizon could spell disaster for gun owners in the years to come.

“Overall, the direction has been positive for the Second Amendment,” Pratt said. “But the biggest challenge facing the Second Amendment right now is the Republican leadership in both houses of Congress. They have no fundamental understanding of the Constitution they took an oath to uphold.”

When asked to elaborate, Pratt replied: “They’re pushing immigration legislation—presumably as a pathway to amnesty—that will bring in a flood of new anti-Second Amendment voters. I attend a predominantly Hispanic congregation and I know how many of them think. They come from countries where there’s no concept of standing up and taking control of their government. This mindset is completely inconsistent with American principles.”

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To counter this emerging threat, Pratt encourages United States citizens to implore their state representatives to make pro-gun legislation a top priority and to follow the examples of those who already have.

“We need more laws on the books like the one in Kansas, where a federal official can [potentially] wind up in jail if he tries to enforce federal gun laws,” Pratt said. “We’ve found that once decisions on gun rights have been made at the state and local level, it’s very hard for the federal government to overturn them.”

SB 102, or the Second Amendment Protection Act, excludes from federal regulation any personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas, prevents any federal agent or contracted employee, any state employee, or any local authority from enforcing any federal regulation or law governing any personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas,  allows a county or district attorney or the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief in court to enjoin certain federal officials from enforcing federal law regarding a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas.

Pratt continued: “It’s also essential to have a county sheriff who is loyal to the Constitution. He’s the top cop in your community and has more authority than the Secret Service or any other law enforcement agency. What he says goes.”

As an example, Pratt pointed to Clark County, Nevada Sheriff Douglas C. Gillespie, who recently found himself at the center of a standoff between the federal government and local rancher Cliven Bundy, whose cattle were stolen by the feds in a dispute over grazing rights.

Though at first reluctant to exercise his authority, “the sheriff finally decided that he had to uphold the Constitution and told the Bureau of Land Management to leave,” Pratt said. “And they left, right away.”

Elsewhere on the Second Amendment front, as some states continue to take steps forward in protecting the rights of gun owners, others have either taken a step back or continue to run in place.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R), for instance, recently tarnished her image as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment when she vetoed two promising pro-gun bills. One was similar to Georgia’s, which would have allowed gun owners to carry firearms into some public buildings, and the other would have punished local governments that adopt gun-control measures that are stricter than state laws.

In a bittersweet victory, Missouri legislators just approved a measure that nullifies past, present and future federal gun laws deemed unconstitutional by the state. Unfortunately, the final version of the bill stripped away an earlier provision that would have put federal agents behind bars for up to one year if they attempted to enforce those laws in the Show Me state.

War is still being waged against the gun-grabbers in the Rocky Mountain state. Last year, AFP reported on two Colorado state senators who were recalled by angry voters after enacting strict gun-control legislation, which included extending background checks to private sales and limiting magazine capacity. Since then, their replacements have been struggling to rollback the measures but have been blocked at every turn by a Democrat-controlled legislature.

On the bright side, according to The New York Times, state governments in 2013 passed 70 laws that loosened gun restrictions as opposed to 39 laws that were enacted to tighten them.

Of course, that’s no consolation to citizens in places like Connecticut, where a new draconian law has made felons out of gun owners who legally purchased so-called “assault weapons” in the past but have yet to register them with the state. For them, the fight to protect the Second Amendment is far from over.

In fact, it’s only just begun.

Keith Johnson in an investigative journalist and creator of the Revolt of the Plebs.