Governor Deal signed the gun law reform bill, HB 492(pdf), into law on Tuesday the 12th of May, 2015. The law is one of a multitude of gun law reforms sweeping the nation since President Obama took office. Some laws, such as the constitutional carry law passed in Kansas this year, offer sweeping restoration of second amendment rights that have been slowly infringed on over the last century. Others offer more incremental change.
HB 492 is one of the latter. It cleans up some language from previous bills, and makes some small improvements. From georgiacarry.org:
1) Clarifies that government buildings are off limits only to those who do not hold a valid GWLRolling back decades of infringements on the second amendment takes time. It took almost 40 years to bring concealed carry to every state across the nation, and there are still several who flout the second amendment by issuing only a tiny number of permits, mostly to the politically connected, such as judges, former policemen, and the wealthy.
2) Clarifies that carrying within 150′ of a polling place is off limits ONLY when an election is taking place.
3) Clarifies that the Probate Judge cannot require a fingerprint background check when the holder has a valid GWL, regardless of the county the GWL was issued. (The Judges were requiring a background check for any license that was not originally issued in their county. This practice will stop upon this bill being signed and the effective date reached.)
4) Allows for school systems to decide punishment for any weapon carried to school by a student with the exception of firearms, dangerous weapons or machine guns or unless weapons defined as such in 16-11-127.1 are used in an assault.
5) Sets the date a GWL can be renewed to 90 days before and 30 days after expiration. The license can be renewed anytime during that 4 months.
6) Defined “Armed Forces” for the purpose of 16-11-129.
7) Sets the procedure for a State or Superior Court to notify the Probate Court when a GWL holder is convicted of any crime that would disqualify the holder from holding a license.
8) Requires the Probate Court to notify GCIC immediately or no later than to days of any license holder who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
9) Clarifies the procedure for the State or Superior Courts to determine the validity of a GWL.
10) Added “political subdivision and school district” to the list of those who cannot institute gun control laws.
11) Changed the definition of weapon in 16-11-173 from the same meaning in 16-11-127.1 to “means any device designed or intended to be used, or capable of being used, for offense or defense, including but not limited to firearms, bladed devices, clubs, electric stun devices, and defense sprays.”
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch