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Towns County Sheriff discusses changes in state gun laws

The following press release is provided by Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton.

Each year, our Georgia General Assembly enacts, or changes the laws of our state during their session. Each year, I review the changes to our laws. Often these changes require new policies and training for our deputies. That has certainly been the case this year and our staff is working to provide the training and make policy changes before the new laws take effect.

One law in particular will be of interest to many. You may have already come across some of the news coverage on House Bill 60. Many pro 2nd Amendment groups are praising the bill. Some have even claimed that Georgia is now the most 2nd Amendment friendly state in the union. Others dislike the bill for its sweeping changes. Either way, the bill will certainly change the way Georgia’s law enforcement community deals with firearms carry.

House Bill 60, or the “Safe Carry Protection Act”, amends various Titles within Georgia Code concerning firearms. Among other provisions the twenty-nine page bill:

1. allows weapons to be carried in bars,

2. allows churches to permit weapons,

3. prohibits public housing authorities from restricting lawful firearm ownership by its tenants,

4. allows silencers or suppressors for hunting on private property,

5. allows license holders to carry weapons in government buildings where entrance to the building is not restricted through the use of security personnel,

6. limits the fine to $100 for license holders who enter a secured government building,

7. allows certain school personnel the authority to carry a weapon on school property,

8. prohibits a multijurisdictional data base of information regarding persons issued weapons carry license,

9. prohibits law enforcement officers from detaining an individual for the purpose of investigating whether such individual has a weapons carry license,

10. does away with the fingerprint requirement for renewal of a weapons carry license,

11. does away with the fee for certain retired law enforcement officers,

12. allows members of the armed forces who are at least 18 years old, have completed basic training and are serving currently, or honorably discharged, to obtain a weapons carry license,

13. makes it unlawful for county and city governments to restrict firearms ownership, or movement.

This is a general overview of some of the changes House Bill 60 will make to Georgia law. It is not meant to be a complete and comprehensive summary of the law, or replace legal counsel. Having already heard much discussion about this bill and in anticipation that it will gather even more news coverage, I hope that this brief summary will help citizens better understand what the law is and what it is not.

As it is written, unless vetoed by the Governor, this bill is set to become effective July 1, 2014. In our upcoming safety classes we will be discussing these and other aspects of legal aspects of carrying a weapon. Please call our office for further information.

Feel free to share any post from the WKRK website that you feel is beneficial to your community. We encourage input from local law enforcement, government officials, emergency management officials, schools and other public service organizations. To send us information, use the form on our WKRK Info page.

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Posted in GA-Fannin County, GA-Gilmer County, GA-Towns County, GA-Union County, Regional News

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