Sen. Seabaugh's gun bill signed into law by Perdue
Gov. Sonny Perdue on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 308 that spells out where it is legal for licensed permit holders to carry guns. SB 308 was sponsored by Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg).
Under the proviso that the individual has a permit to carry the weapon, the Georgia Common Sense Lawful Carry Act allows a gun to be carried in all parks, historic sites and recreation areas. SB 308 has a provision allowing those with a carry permit to have their weapon secured in their personal motor vehicle or in a locked container or locked firearms rack in a vehicle.
“Georgia’s Common Sense Lawful Carry Act protects lawfully carrying citizens from unknowingly becoming criminals by clarifying where they can and cannot carry their weapons,” Sen. Seabaugh said. “They know all too well that a license to carry is not a license to commit a crime. This law was truly written by the citizens of Georgia, with input from all interested constituents. Government should work for the people to protect their freedoms and constitutionally guaranteed rights. I want to thank Gov. Perdue and my colleagues in the Legislature for their support and willingness to work on this legislation. I also want to thank everyone who provided valuable input into writing this bill to help achieve a law that makes sense.”
Seabaugh’s June 8 press release said the confusing public gathering clause no longer exists in Georgia law and the new law provides specifics as to where it is lawful for properly licensed citizens to carry a weapon and clearer penalties for infractions. Property owner rights were successfully preserved by allowing their discretion as to having weapons on their property. No weapons will be allowed in any K-12 school.
Additionally, no weapons will be allowed in government buildings, courtrooms, jails or prisons, and churches. Properly licensed individuals will be able to keep their weapon in their vehicle parked on the lot. Lawfully carrying citizens can also leave their weapon secured in their parked vehicle at the airport and have them in their vehicle when driving through the airport. Citizens with a carry license will be able to leave their weapon in a parked vehicle on college and university campuses. However, it will be a misdemeanor if they have a license and carry onto a college or university campus. It will still be a felony crime to carry a weapon onto a campus without a license to carry, according to the press release.
Senate spokesperson Raegan Weber said Seabaugh worked to move the bill through the Senate and House by walking legislators through each section of the bill. He talked to the process of working with all parties who had interest in the legislation, including gun safety advocates. Since introduction of the bill in January, Seabaugh met with representatives from the Board of Regents, Georgians for Gun Safety, Georgia Carry, churches, educators, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges. Each of them had the opportunity to learn about the Lawful Carry bill and had suggestions of their own for improvements. The final outcome includes their input, Weber said.
GeorgiaCarry.Org president Ed Stone weighed in Tuesday on Perdue’s agreement to sign the bill.
“GeorgiaCarry.Org appreciates Governor Perdue’s signing this important legislation,” said Stone. “It is vital for law-abiding citizens who wish to arm themselves for self-defense to know definitively what places are off-limits. This bill, through the leadership of Sen. Seabaugh, eliminates much of the ambiguity inherent in the former law. GeorgiaCarry.org believes that this legislation is an important step in the restoration and full implementation of law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.”