Monday, May 12, 2014

Gun Nuts

Fans of the Brady Bunch just cannot get past the recently signed gun bill and with the help of local mainstream media continues to wage a war of dis-and-mis-information. For those who would like to administratively repeal portions of  the U.S. Constitution there are some inconvenient truths:

  • The law did not take effect the day Governor Deal signed it, it takes effect on July 1st.
  • The law, current and new, has no impact on the sale and possession of firearms. 
  • The law does not affect the requirements (including fingerprinting and FBI background check) or legal limits on probate court foot-dragging associated with acquiring a Georgia Weapons Carry License.
  • It is a Georgia WEAPONS Carry License and weapons includes more than guns.
  • You must be 21 or older to obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License or 18 to 21 with proper military training and these restrictions apply to all college students in this state.
  • Georgia does not license or register firearms (it is explicitly prohibited by this law) but does require a license to carry weapons that are identified in State code and unlike other states does not allow open carry without a license.
  • Allows does not mean Must. Not in the vernacular and certainly not in legal language.
  • The law allows churches to decide whether or not to allow their congregants to legally carry-with a valid license-on church property.
  • The law allows a legally licensed citizen to carry in some government facilities IF AND ONLY IF that government chooses NOT to provide security measures to ensure that no one, licensed or not, cannot carry into that facility.
  • The law allows certain school officials to allow specific persons to carry a specified weapon for a specified period on school property and at school functions.
  • The law allows teachers and other school personnel to possess a weapon on school property but only if that person holds a Georgia Weapons Carry License and then only if the weapon is stored locked in a vehicle.
  • Hunting with silencers or suppressors is allowed only on private property and only with verifiable permission of the property owner. 
  • Excepting specially loaded cartridges a vast majority of bullets exit the barrel at supersonic speeds with the inevitable sonic boom that no silencer can suppress. 
  • Licensed citizens can carry into a bar, but cannot consume alcohol-the weapons version of a designated driver.
  • Applicants are not eligible for Carry License if within the last five years they have received in-patient treatment for mental disorders or alcoholism.
  • That someone is carrying a weapon is not adequate legal justification to presume such possession is in violation of the law and they cannot be detained without such probable cause as necessary to pass court muster if no weapon was involved. 
  • The government cannot suspend constitutional rights by declaring a state of emergency.
And perhaps most importantly:
These laws and any restrictions or relaxation of restrictions apply only to law abiding citizens and those with a valid carry license who have been finger-printed and subjected to an FBI background check.
Mainstream media needs to quit pontificating on "guns and religion" and "guns and alcohol" being bad ideas--most folks agree and most legally licensed gun owners have no intention of doing these things just because it is now allowed. If the media want to engage with facts (often kept at quite a distance when it suits their agenda) then perhaps alongside their daily handwringing over the latest shooting in the ATL they can identify all the participants that were in possession of a valid Georgia Weapons Carry License. Then we'd all have ammunition for a much more meaningful conversation.