Tag Archives: georgia carry

The gun collection no one is talking about

In my contributions to the non-metro Atlanta news site, AllOnGeorgia, I have the unique opportunity to write about Second Amendment issues on a daily basis. Some days this is a good thing and other days, extremely disappointing to read what is happening around the country, mostly because of one disturbing trend that is publicized, but going almost completely unnoticed by Second Amendment supporters.

Gun buy back programs. These events, where local governments and/or police departments purchase firearms from citizens is surging right now and no one is batting an eye. Legal and illegal handguns and rifles are being collected with hardly any mention of where the taxpayer money is coming from, where the weapons are going, or what organization is pushing the initiative to remove so many weapons from the streets.

Let’s take a look at a few of the more recent buy back events:

Interestingly enough, Mississippi doesn’t allow buy backs because of a law that stipulates taking money in exchange for firearms violates the firearm dealer/auctioneer provision. Does that mean that all the other states just bypass similar laws because it’s the police/government doing it?

As you can see, this isn’t concentrated in one particular area of one state or region of the country. It’s not limited to blue states. It’s happening everywhere. Of course, this is all voluntary. But why? If, for the first time in decades, more people support gun rights over control, why is this happening?

Study after study shows one of three (or all three) things:

  1. Buy backs don’t reduce crime.
  2. They don’t reduce the number of guns in a community by even a marginal number.
  3. The people likely to commit crimes aren’t hopping in line for a gift card or a comic book in exchange for their firearm.

Aside from wanting to know what kind of fool would turn in an expensive handgun, rifle or higher caliber weapon for a mere $50 or $100, why would anyone want to turn in your weapon even if they were being compensated for the value of the gun?  Why not just sell it outright? Why turn it into the police or the very government that stands to threaten Second Amendment rights at any given time? Why…when it isn’t known where the weapons end up.

We all balk at initiatives in Congress for things like proposed legislation that would offer tax credits if you get rid of your firearms. Tell me why that sentiment isn’t shared in this instance.

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Don’t Take My Power, That’s Mine!

From my article originally posted on Peach Pundit:

As the 2014 legislative session approaches, we’re all gearing up for the “hot button” issues that will rise to the forefront and be the buzz for all the bloggers. With the possible May election, it would be a surprise to no one to see session shortened in an effort to get back to important things, like fundraising. Legislators will hopefully evaluate meticulously in selecting the legislation they choose to push, which will likely include several recommitted bills from 2013.

HB 100 in particular, relating to the state-level executive powers of firearm confiscation during a state of emergency caught the attention of many but dwindled quickly amongst the campus carry drama. Representative Delvis Dutton (R-157) introduced HB 100, which is more comprehensive and thorough than previous legislation of the same nature, in what has been a growing trend since the unconstitutional seizure of firearms following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Specifically, HB100 states,

“No official or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof…,while acting during or pursuant to a declared state of emergency, shall: temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize the seizure of any firearms or ammunition…prohibit possession of any firearm or ammunition or any component thereof…prohibit any license holder from carrying any weapon…or require registration of any firearm.”

In also adding a few definitions and procedural matters, HB 100 would essentially protect second amendment rights during a declared state of emergency when rules and rights are often skirted.

HB 100 had, and continues to have, extensive support. Currently there are 47  House signers, both Georgia Gun Owners and Georgia Carry support the measure and it falls in line with similar NRA-backed legislation that has been enacted across the nation. Organizations like ALEC and NAGR have jumped in to help with legislation in several states, including, but not limited to, Oklahoma, Virginia, Missouri, Maine and even Michigan and California…but somehow HB100 did not wiggle down the pipeline in Georgia.

Interestingly assigned to the House Judiciary Committee (and not Public Safety or Judiciary Non-Civil), HB100 passed through subcommittee and full committee with bipartisan support but did not make it out of Rules by day 30 even after requests by multiple Representatives. The rumor is that Governor Deal, and his minute-men, worked to stop this bill from the beginning and plan to do the same in 2014.

It is a tad surprising that following Sandy Hook, Aurora and tragedies of the like, when responsible gun owners are literally clinging to their guns AND in a season of a contested primary, Governor Deal still has not come out in full support of our second amendment rights and HB 100. Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, when asked about his position on such legislation, said he is “100% adamantly opposed to any bill or behavior that restricts our freedoms” and would support legislation that would remove the executive power to confiscate firearms. Calls to Governor Deal’s office regarding this issue were not returned. John Barge for Govenor also chose not to offer a position on the issue, but I imagine he is busy with his spelling flashcards.

::cue Liberty Drum::

Your Liberty Drum’s Not Loud Enough

Dear Georgia House of Representatives Members (who voted ‘yea’),

I thought it would settle. I thought it would stop irritating me. But it hasn’t.

If I have to hear another one of you put yourself on a pedestal because you voted in favor of a bill that was a) dropped on a Thursday night (12 a.m. for the general public to read), b) scheduled for a hearing that following Monday and c) flown through the House by Crossover day the Thursday of the same week, I may just toss my cookies.
2nd amendment issues have been a concern since the before the legislative session began. (Hence the reason a couple other legislators introduced legislation much earlier). Why was there a need to push it all through so fast? Then we’re left with: Republicans who voted in favor of the bill because they didn’t want to be anti-2nd amendment and Democrats who voted against the bill because they didn’t want to be pro-2nd amendment. What happened to HB 28 & 29? Doesn’t anyone have any guts to make a true statement around here?!?!

Let me make this very, very clear. HB 512 is lousy and watered down. You completely ignored a group of citizens that needed immediate assistance and an immediate remedy and you manipulated wording of a lobbyist-backed bill (which is fine, but did you read it?) to make it seem all lovely. Put your liberty drum down. It’s not loud enough. You address bars and churches, but the very group that needed help now was ignored. I thought legislation was supposed to address the needs of citizens? Every student who attends a university in Georgia, every law student, every graduate student, every urban student in Metro Atlanta…you failed them. Each and every one of them. We see how gun-free zones have worked across America and we know how to fix the situation. HB 512 was nothing short of a publicity stunt to make gun owners think the Georgia Assembly supports students. I am not falling for it. As a student and a LICENSED PERMIT HOLDER, I cannot take my gun into university housing, on a university bus (this is crucial for students at Georgia State and Georgia Tech who walk and take school transportation depending on location and time) or into the classroom. Or how about the students at nontraditional campuses?

A ‘Yea’ vote makes it very clear that you place the ‘student’ status before ‘American’ status. Get off your soap box and sit down. You failed.

zip-it

Reflection of the Campus Carry Hearing

So it’s been a couple of days since the hearings and I’ve had some time to ‘reflect’. I was genuinely impressed by how many people turned out for the hearings -in the middle of the day- in support of HB 28 & HB 29. Georgia Gun Owners, Georgia Carry, Students for Concealed Carry, students from various Georgia universities and many private citizens. It’s clear from the people who attended, with the exception of one student who had no argument and the University System of Georgia representative, who is so out-of-touch with what it’s like to be a student and what it means to be an American, there was overwhelming support for both bills.

I’ve also had the opportunity to reflect a bit regarding a conversation I had with a police chief from a private institution after the hearing. (Oh, the irony…me having a conversation with a police officer who would like to see unarmed citizens.)  I told him that I had attended Georgia State University, and he saw my testimony (seen here), as well as other students from the Atlanta area. His response was ‘Well, you don’t HAVE to go to those schools. You can choose to go elsewhere.’. I found this extremely amusing for a couple of reasons: First, this is coming from a liberal gentleman who wants everyone to have access to education but now he’s telling me that students shouldn’t attend Georgia State or Georgia Tech because of the of the “danger”. This is also coming from a public safety officer who is supposed to be protecting students, keeping campus safe. He should know he can’t, and his officers can’t, be everywhere at the same time. I asked him what he would tell his daughter who had to walk across the campus of Georgia State at 8p.m. in the dark after an evening class. He responded that he would ‘never send his daughter there’. Ah.. okay. So 1) you’re on a higher socioeconomic status than many of us (more than 30,000) students who attend GSU and 2) you’re so aware of the violence on campus that you would not send your own daughter there but you still don’t think that students should exercise their second amendment rights on campus.

I’m not following the logic, because there is no logic.
At this point, I extended my hand, thanked him for his service and said ‘have a nice day’. Before I turned my back, he said, “Well, if I went to Tech or State, I guess I would understand why you feel that way”.

But let me go on the record and explain something to you, sir, because you seemed to have missed a giant component of both HB 28 & HB 29. These bills, while they target the second amendment, are more about property rights. They would grant each university, private or public, the ability to regulate campus carry rules. It would be on an individual basis. So, Chief, if you think your campus is so safe so as not to need students to carry, it would be the institution’s right to deny that on campus. It would allow Georgia State support second amendment rights WHILE you folks at unnamed private institution, {cough- Agnes Scott- cough} deny them. The same concept applies to the bill for places of worship. Each individual church, synagogue, etc.  would have the ability to determine whether or not the parishioners could exercise their right in that particular place of worship. It’s a novel concept- actually. It removes the government from the decision. Kind of how Taco Mac won’t let you conceal carry in their bars. It’s an individual organizational choice. I believe you are private university for many reasons, many of which include funding, resources, and meddling from other organizations/government. And surely you understand the concept of ‘property’, as a law enforcement officer.

I’d also like to go on the record and thank Rep. Charles Gregory. As I said in my testimony, I’ve been writing my legislators for some time now regarding students and their right to carry. Rep. Gregory has really stepped up to the plate and gone to bat for all students who walk their campus in the dark or at night or have to go to their car in a bad part of town. But what’s amazing is that he didn’t introduce the bill for any of those reasons. The reason was liberty. The reason was the Constitution.
Thank you for recognizing that I am a citizen first, and a student second.