Ga. panel hears pros, cons of concealed weapon permit

Walter Jones/ Morris News Service
Thursday testimony before Georgia lawmakers
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 12:53 PM
Last updated 1:04 PM
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ATLANTA -- Ending the requirement to get a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon won’t endanger the public or it will, according to testimony on both sides of the issue that the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee heard Thursday.

The panel held its first hearing on House Bill 679 with witnesses for and against but did not vote. The measure by Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, would allow anyone who can legally own a gun to carry one without having to get a permit from a county probate judge.

It would not change who can have a gun or where they can take one.

Spencer didn’t make a long speech but merely asked the committee to consider the bill from a philosophical standpoint.

“I ask you all to look in your conscience .... search your hearts ... search your minds,” he said.

Officials from three gun-rights groups testified in favor of the bill, arguing that it would remove a barrier to citizens’ exercising of their right under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. Besides, they said, the permits do nothing to prevent crime.

“Criminals do not stop and ask for permission to carry firearms,” said Nathan Adams, with the Georgia Campaign for Liberty.

Patrick Parsons, executive director of Georgia Gun Owners warned Chairwoman Ann Purcell that she would face the same political consequences for letting the bill die without a committee vote as she would for voting against legislation dear to gun-rights advocates. To make the point, he said 17,000 gun owners have signed petitions supporting the bill.

Purcell, an avid hunter, jumped in to say she has announced no plans to let the bill die.

“There has been no refusal. Incorrect information has been set out,” said Purcell, R-Rincon, noting the committee has had only one other meeting to consider bills this session. “No one has called me, and there has been an assumption and incorrect information in regards to this bill not being brought up before the committee.”

Only one witness spoke against it, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, chairman of the legislative committee of the Georgia Sheriffs Association. He said while he supports the right of private citizens to carry a gun, the association members voted to oppose ending permits.

“We consider it a public-safety issue, and we’re very concerned that many other legal impediments would result in that, and we’re simply opposed to it,” he said.

Spencer has five other legislators cosponsoring the bill, including one who sits on the committee. He said Purcell hasn’t promised him the committee will vote on it but said he will ask for another hearing to consider some wording changes recommended by supporters.

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TParty
6003
Points
TParty 02/09/12 - 02:20 pm
0
0
If people have to show

If people have to show competence to drive cars on public roads- I think people should demonstrate competence before carrying weapons out in public, concealed or not. Saying criminals don't follow any set of laws is not a good argument for anything.

Boudreaux
117
Points
Boudreaux 02/09/12 - 04:04 pm
0
0
I don't think it would make

I don't think it would make much difference, people who want to carry already do. I could see a reduction in crime if more criminals were shot by law abiding citizens.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 02/09/12 - 04:18 pm
0
0
I've asked this before:

I've asked this before: What is the penalty for carrying without a permit?

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 02/09/12 - 04:22 pm
0
0
Unless the permits become

Unless the permits become reciprocal between all of the states; I am in favor of abandoning the law.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 02/09/12 - 05:09 pm
0
0
This will actually do very

This will actually do very little. If passed, which I am not in favour of, it will put a number of firearms out there in hands which have not shown any interest in learning the responsibilities and restrictions on carry. I went through the process many years ago and it was slow, error-prone, but relatively inexpensive.

I view my permit much like registering to vote: I do not believe in drive-by registration for something so important. I agree those who are entrusted to carry lethal force about them should be screened. Even the minimal effort required to obtain a permit demonstrates some modicum of awareness of civic responsibility.

An additional consideration is the proposed (and sure to be vetoed by an anti-gun Obama/Romney White House) federal law that requires states to hold valid other state's permits, just like marriage licenses or driver permits. One of the sticking points thrown in by obstructionists --although the point is valid-- is what about states that have no permitting process?

This system is not broke here in Georgia. Letting the Gold Dome trolls toy with it cannot be a good idea.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 02/09/12 - 07:18 pm
0
0
Dstewart, is your permit good

Dstewart, is your permit good in SC, NC, Fla, Va. or TN?

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 02/09/12 - 09:02 pm
0
0
Willow, not in SC --go

Willow, not in SC --go figure-- oddities like that, bordering states who do not reciprocate eachothers permits are the reason the Congress is proposing legislation.

You may find this link informative:

http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/georgia.pdf

myopinion3
0
Points
myopinion3 02/10/12 - 05:47 am
0
0
Though I totally agree that

Though I totally agree that the permits should be done away with, I also look at haveing or not having a permit would be another criminal charge that could be levied against a criminal who comits a crime while in possesion of a weapon.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 02/10/12 - 09:25 am
0
0
That's true; but crossing

That's true; but crossing state lines is a problem. I need mine most for travelling alone.

ripjones256
-1
Points
ripjones256 02/10/12 - 10:28 am
0
0
As much as I hate to say that
Unpublished

As much as I hate to say that the Federal government should get involved with this, I think they should. It is worthless to have a permit, even though I do, that is not recognized by the neighboring states that I visit. The Feds need to come up with guidelines, including a gun safety/qualifying class, and issue a Federal permit, valid across the country. Currently, you are checked through GCIC and NCIC anyway, so the Feds are already involved, so why not ?

SCIMACER
0
Points
SCIMACER 02/10/12 - 12:48 pm
0
0
GA does not recognize the SC

GA does not recognize the SC permit because SC requires a firearm training course be taken that proves firearm competance and proficency. GA does not. SC will not honor the GA permit (which if you can breath and are not a felon you can get) so GA does not honor the SC permit, which is crap. In my opinion, allowing people to carry without requiring training is a bad idea. Just like drivers licencing is needed, proficiency with firearms should be a demonstrated, proven skill BEFORE the permit is issued. I'm just saying..

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