Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

February 24, 2014

Ga. House passes gun bill

VALDOSTA — A bill allowing firearms in government buildings, churches, and bars has passed the House in the Georgia General Assembly, and is awaiting a vote by the Senate.

Three of the four members of our local legislative delegation voted for the bill — Rep. Amy Carter, Rep. Ellis Black and Rep. Jason Shaw. Only Rep. Dexter Sharper voted no.

The bill, if the Senate passes it, would allow any citizen with a carry permit to walk into any government building or facility, unless said building or facility has security at the door, with a weapon.

Anyone with a permit could carry a gun to church, church services, church events, etc. and into a bar or drinking establishment. The bill strikes out the language regarding drinking and carrying a gun.

The bill would also strengthen the law, allowing probate judges to run background checks on those applying for permits to check for prior mental instability. If a person has been treated or incarcerated in a mental health facility in the previous five years, they have the right to deny that person a license to carry. Hopefully, this provision would prevent a suicide or an individual intending to cause harm to others.

While arguing 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms, an equally compelling argument can be found in the Preamble to the Constitution, which proscribes insuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare.

Conceding that allowing firearms in the hands of the mentally ill can be regulated for the common good, a move to protect the common good by limiting access to firearms by intoxicated individuals, whose judgment is impaired, seems to similarly fall on the side of common good versus individual rights.

Another provision allows those caught with a “weapon” — and there is a pretty broad list — in an airport would not face an automatic felony. If the act was unknown and inadvertent, the charge will be a misdemeanor instead.

The legislation strengthens other aspects of the law, regarding carrying on public school property, but language in the bill may open it to interpretation as a stand-your-ground law.

The Senate vote will decide the bill’s fate later this week.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

  • PSST! Only one week left

    Peach State Summer Theatre enters its final week of performances for the 2014 season. This means there are only a few more opportunities left to see “Mary Poppins,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” and “42nd Street.”

    July 20, 2014

  • The wisdom of animals

    Animals may be smarter than us. If you don’t think so take a look at how we humans deal with the oppressive heat of summer. Compare our activities with those of animals.

    July 19, 2014

  • Welcoming home the ‘Unseen Project’

    Two months ago, they embarked on an ambitious endeavor: Two friends, riding on motorcycles criss-crossing the United States, followed by a film crew, on a faith-based tour to find America the Unseen.

    July 17, 2014

  • A downtown church’s faith

    First Baptist Church made a leap of faith this past weekend.

    July 16, 2014

  • Overpass has double potential

    They say it will be here sooner than we think.

    July 16, 2014

  • Precautions for what’s left of summer

    Summer is a time of rest, vacations and trips. It is a time when school is out, when people take time off from work, when people may stay out a little later. It is a time of swimming, trying new things, and seeking adventure.

    July 14, 2014

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results