Your morning jolt: 7th District race may free up gun bills

The state Senate Special Judiciary Committee on Monday approved a complete overhaul of Georgia’s concealed-carry laws.

The major concession by the author, state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg): Georgia’s university system would be allowed to decide for itself where and when licensed concealed weapons could be carried on campus.

University officials are not pleased. They had demanded the status quo.

The Seabaugh bill, SB 308, now goes to the Senate Rules Committee, where resides another gun bill, SB 291, sponsored by state Sen. David Shafer. The Shafer bill simply permits the carrying of concealed weapons in vehicles picking up and dropping off passengers at Hartsfield International Airport.

For the last few years, the toughest fight for gun enthusiasts has been getting legislation out of the rules committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote.

That situation changed last week, when Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour (R-Snellville) jumped into the 7th District race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. John Linder. Balfour won’t want an anti-gun tag going into a summer Republican primary.

Look for one of these two bills to hit the floor for a chamber vote.

Speaking of 7th District politics, former state GOP chairman Ralph Reed tweeted the following from New York at 1:28 a.m. today, following a night-time appearance with Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

Stay tuned for an annnouncement regarding future plans. Will let u know via tweet.

David Brody with the Christian Broadcasting Network says Reed plans to announce his decision at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Reed, a resident of Gwinnett County, has been mentioned as possible candidate to replace Linder.

PeachPundit is reporting that Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway has endorsed state Rep. Clay Cox, yet another 7th District candidate. Says Conway:

“Clay Cox has proven to be invaluable to Gwinnett’s law enforcement community with his service in the State House. He has been a fighter for public safety and a good friend. I know he will be a strong conservative voice in Congress.

WIMO (AM 1300) talk show jockey Greg Howard, who is also a former chairman of the Gwinnett GOP, this morning will jump into the race to replace Don Balfour in the state Senate. As mentioned above, Balfour is a candidate in the 7th District congressional contest.

A subcommittee on Monday sent Gov. Sonny Perdue’s transportation funding plan to the full House Transportation Committee for first full examination of the bill today.

The measure would allow regions in the state to vote on a one-cent sales tax hike to pay for road improvements.

But the governor has let it be known that an opt-out provision added by the House would make the bill a “non-starter.”

If the House measure stalls, look for a union of Senate Republicans and Democrats to put their own version in motion. One sticking point: Democrats in both the House and the Senate say they have their own “non-starter” provision.

They want a 2010 vote on a proposed constitutional amendment they say is necessary to set up the funding system. Perdue has proposed a 2012 vote.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

29 comments Add your comment

Sgt. At Arms

March 9th, 2010
10:48 am

How are all these gun bills able to get movement and nothing has been done about traffic going on 8 years now? Georgia needs to be concentrating on traffic, jobs, and education.

Kurt martin

March 9th, 2010
11:00 am

Ideally, a person with a gun carry permit should be able to legally carry that gun any place that criminals and crazies can carry weapons illegally. That would include any location not sealed-off with armed guards and metal detectors at all entrances and exits. Certainly an adult who has had their background checked by the FBI and GBI and has had a carry permit issued by a judge in their county of residence should be allowed to carry as they go to and from school, when they run errands including stopping off at the tag office or the post office (government buildings), and when they eat at a restaurant that serves alcohol (only made legal–if you don’t drink– effective 7/2008 thanks to lobbying by gun rights organizations.)

Walt Verrill

March 9th, 2010
11:25 am

Gun owners will be looking at how their House Representatives vote on these gun bills. With Obama & Holder in Washington this is more important than ever. We must get this confusion in the Georgia Gun Laws straightened out and preserve our 2nd Amendment rights.

Not Crazy

March 9th, 2010
12:28 pm

Sounds like the looneys on the right are taking away my freedom to be in areas free of handguns. If I can go in a smoke-free restaurant because second hand smoke my endanger my health, should I have to sit with gun toting customers who could endanger my health by having a shootout ? I am an independent who will do my best to vote these people out of office. Of course, I don’t have a money throwing lobby behind me.
I am not against hunting, or firing at a firing range, or keeping a gun in your home for protection. Just don’t include me.

Politenessman

March 9th, 2010
12:43 pm

Not Crazy – yes, you are.
First, you have no ‘Right” to be an area free of handguns, other than your own property. You may wish to be free of them, but you have no right to be free of them. However, every human being has the right (and make no mistake, it is a basic human right) to self defense, and many of us choose to carry the tools to enable effective self defense. It makes no sense to enact laws that prevent us from doing so, given the law abiding status of GFL holders.
And as for being right wing loonies, you are very much mistaken – I am far from right wing, and far from being a loon.

AM

March 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

I think they should let the legislature allow loaded guns in session, while they debate issues (such as this one). Any common sense out under that gold dome?

Big L

March 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

Oh noooo!
Blood will run in the street if we allow persons with permits to carry firearms!
Fortunately, the criminals that carry firearms without permits never cause problems.
Just ask Cynthia Tucker, this will cause society to collapses.

Robert

March 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

People who carry loaded hand guns in public places are “COWARDS”. The state of GA has more COWARDS and SUCKERS carrying guns than the state of Texas. I wonder how many of these gun wearing COWARDS are card carrying “tea Party” members (aka, Klan without the hoods).

Todd

March 9th, 2010
1:20 pm

Robert, How is someone who wants to carry a loaded gun legally in a public place a coward? Maybe they want to protect themselves from the thugs who may accost them. Actually, cowards are the ones who don’t fight back because they are to liberal to carry. By the way, how is tea party members the Klan without the hood?? well if that is the case then Obama supporters and anti gun supporters are members of the radical Black Panther Party!! If you don’t like Ga’s open carry laws, Delta is ready when you are!!!! Move!!!!

Robert

March 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

Todd, if you and I were at a Starbucks with our children and I saw you wearing a gun I would look you straight in the eyes and tell you point blank why do you need a gun in a public place and why are putting my childs safety at risk because you felt a need to protect yourself? Because you have a gun you will feel empowered to show you are a REAL MAN and will not tolerate anyone chastising you like a child because you brought a gun to a public place. As a parent I would remove my child from that place of business because the risk of you thinking someone is out to get you is not in my best interest. My childs safety is the most important thing to me. Guns in public places are not the answer.

Politenessman

March 9th, 2010
1:44 pm

Robert – please tell us then, what is the answer?
We await your wisdom.

riggz

March 9th, 2010
1:56 pm

Robert, sit down and ask yourself your own question. “Why would someone need a gun in a public place?” What world do you live in where nobody is robbed, raped, or murdered by a criminal with a gun? How does a gun in a holster endanger you or your child? It does not jump out and go off killing everyone within a 20 mile radius. It has no reason to leave the holster unless… wait for it….. a criminal already has drawn HIS/HER weapon! Now, do you really think that the criminal has better firearms training and better aiming? Who do you think cares about your child’s safety at this point? The criminal or the law abiding citizen who has the means to stop the cirminal? (Let’s not forget the fact that an openly carried gun has deterred many criminals from comitting a crime.) Explain to me how a criminal with a gun will say “Oh dang, I can’t go in there because guns are not allowed. Guess I’ll move along now and not harm these innocent people.” You sir, are the coward, not us. We choose to be able to defend ourselves and even people like you, in the case where a criminal has made the choice to put our lives at risk. We have the RIGHT to do this. You have the RIGHT to be a ignorant coward who feels better letting criminals walk around with guns while disarming law abiding citizens.

riggz

March 9th, 2010
2:04 pm

Not Crazy, explain to me how any law that prohibits people from carrying or possessing a firearm in a public place will stop a criminal from robbing, raping, or murdering someone. The laws exist now. Guns are forbidden in and around college campuses. How many people have been robbed recently in and around the GA Tech campus? Do you really think that criminals with guns will obey any law? Are you really that ignorant? You have no RIGHT to be in an area without a firearm (except your personal property as mentioned above). I’m not a smoker, but I still don’t agree with forcing restaurants to ban smoking. If you don’t like smoking and the restaurant allows smoking, guess what… you don’t go there! You don’t have a RIGHT to eat at any restaurant. Your way of thinking makes it easier for criminals to take away your RIGHT to live.

Robert

March 9th, 2010
2:12 pm

Politenessman, the only answer I can offer is using common sense. For example do not endanger your loved ones (spouse, children, etc.) by taking them to public places such as a Starbucks where gun toting extremist want to exercise their rights to bear arms and trample on your rights not to bear arms. Starbucks, WalMart and other retailers will feel the economic pressure and amend their policies to reflect the needs of all customers. Secondly, educate your children on gun laws and gun safety. Your children will not fear extremist and terriost who use guns as an intrument to encourage hatred and fear. And last but not least, we all need to treat each other with respect which will help all of us understand how important it is to communicate and not assume the “boogyman” is coming to get you.

Jeff

March 9th, 2010
2:18 pm

It’s ironic that so many folks are afraid of citizens carrying firearms; yet none of them ever seems to have a problem with law enforcement officers carrying firearms. This is especially strange considering the evidence consistently shows that cops are 5 to 10 times more like to shoot the wrong person than a non-LEO citzen.

By the way, I stay away from “gun free zones” because they are far too dangerous (see Columbine and Virginia Tech). “Gun free zones” attract violent psychopaths who like to shoot the unarmed.

Robert

March 9th, 2010
2:25 pm

riggz, I am not afraid of the gun in the holster. I am afraid of the “COWARD” wearing the gun in the holster. That’s the problem. The gun wearer is in danger of being “disarmed”. For example, what will stop me from taking your gun because I see you as a threat to my survival. Whenever there is a threat people will react to protect themselfs. If you bring a gun to a public place I would not feel safe. Your safety or mines. You make the call and live with the consequences.

Politenessman

March 9th, 2010
2:31 pm

“gun toting extremist want to exercise their rights to bear arms and trample on your rights not to bear arms” – In this case (as in all cases) your right not to bear arms is not being trampled – you are clearly someone who has chosen not to bear arms. I suspect you are exercising that right, right now. No number of armed GFL holders is going to make you bear arms.

Robert, I understand your position, but one cannot isolate one’s self from the rest of society. There are times when you have to leave the sanctuary of your house, and there are times when determined criminals will attempt to take from you. How will you deal with them? Give them a hug? Talk to them? Have you ever come face to face with one of these people? They don’t respond well to ‘hugs and understanding’.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest you take your own advice – educate yourself on the gun laws, educate yourself on crime figures and see how many GFL holders have ever been convicted of a violent crime. Compare that to the rest of the population – the figures are out there. There are also some figures available on how many violent crimes have been stopped by armed civilians – look into that, you’ll find it educational. Don’t just educate your children, have a look at it yourself.

Suburbbus

March 9th, 2010
2:33 pm

Robert,
One thing that most people do not seem to realize is that unlike Todd whom you might see openly carrying a gun, there are many, many more people like myself who chose to carry a firearm for personal protection of myself, my wife, and also my daughter so that people like you never know it is there. Your comment about people like me needing to feel like a “Real Man” is just out of pure ignorance. I went through the application process and got fingerprinted and went through the background check process just like all the other hundreds of thousands of Georgians with a “Georgia Firearms License”. I do not take the responsibility of carrying a firearm lightly. However, I will protect my family if I ever needed to. And probably to your surprise, I hope that I would never have to draw my weapon on anyone else. But, I am prepared to do that if the situation ever presented itself. I am even prepared to protect you or one of your family members if their “life” was in danger. Do you believe that the Police will always be there if you need them or would you admit that the Police are always “a phone call” away? Or when seconds count, would you admit that the Police are almost always minutes away?

Jeff

March 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

Suburbbus is right. Law enforcement officers almost never arrive while a violent crime is being committed, unless it’s a domestic dispute. They are historians. They arrive after the violence has occurred and the bad guy is gone. The officer’s job is to write down what happened and begin an investigation.

conceal carry

March 9th, 2010
2:53 pm

Funny thing I carry, and no one knows. CONCEAL carry is the point. My wife has the permit also she carries the same caliber as I do. So, all ammo we use will fit either. Open carry is legal now in VA and I have not heard of an open carry shootout that has harmed an innocent person. I would recommend viewing on youtube:

Penn and Teller; second amendment
Penn and Teller; gun control
John Stosel; gun control

Sorry if I have misspelled a name

Robert

March 9th, 2010
3:03 pm

Suburbbus, wrote ” there are many, many more people like myself who chose to carry a firearm for personal protection ” Is the hand gun concealed or hidden under your clothes? If so, you are not in compliance with GA gun laws which do not allow for citizens to conceal their weapons in public. You seem like a level headed guy who knows how to use hand guns properly and will not violate any hand gun laws.

Politenessman

March 9th, 2010
3:15 pm

Robert – show me the code that says you cannot conceal a weapon in public?

Suburbbus

March 9th, 2010
3:18 pm

Robert,
Concealed or hidden under my clothes is the same thing. A GFL allows me to do either one. Open carry or conceal carry. Your comment about me not being in compliance with the law is just totally wrong. That is a large part of the problem. People will start making statements without fully knowing what the facts are. I understand your concern for the safety of your child. I have the same concerns about my child. I just have chosen a different path to take. I respect your opinion, I just do not agree with it.

And your comment that “I seem like a level headed guy who knows how to use hand guns properly and will not violate any hand gun laws” could be applied to every single person with a “Georgia Firearms License”. Are you aware that you must be 21 yrs old to get a GFL? It is not young irresponsible kids running around with guns who have this permit.

I want to ask you a question about the 1000 foot “gun Free Zone” around schools, colleges, etc. Do you think that my personality would change due to the fact that I am at a soda shop that is 1001 ft from a school versus one that is say within 500 feet or across the street from Ga. Tech?

Scott

March 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

People lawfully carry guns to protect themselves from the unlawful. Crime happens. The criminal picks the who, what, where, when, and why. The chosen victim has a better opportunity to defend himself and/or others if he has a gun. I’d rather be a victor than a dead victim.

Ben Gailey

March 9th, 2010
4:45 pm

it is important for people to understand who these gun control laws affect, and who they dont affect. law abiding, lawfully permitted citizens should be able to carry guns anywhere they go. criminals dont care about the law. if a criminal decides he is going to kill someone, he doesnt care if the place is off limits for gun carry, he is going to do it anyway. gun laws only protect criminals by guaranteeing that certain locations will be full of unarmed victims. i feel much safer when im around other citizens who are permitted to carry. i dont trust my life to a police officer who needs 10 minutes to respond to the scene, and then cant hit anything with his weapon because he only shoots once a year when he has to qualify.

MB

March 9th, 2010
7:52 pm

Robert wrote – “Is the hand gun concealed or hidden under your clothes? If so, you are not in compliance with GA gun laws which do not allow for citizens to conceal their weapons in public.”

Robert, you do not even know the law. As a GFL holder in GA I can carry openly or concealed, my choice.

Thomas

March 10th, 2010
5:26 pm

Robert,

How does it fell to live in Never-Never Land, where there are no violent criminals that would gut your children for their lunch money, kill your wife in a drive-by because someone wearing the wrong colors crossed the wrong street or slit your throat for your vehicle? Does the World Trade Center still stand in Never-Never Land? Do the folks from flight 93 go home to their families and have dinner? Do the “Gangs” in Never-Never Land put on a show and sing like Andy Hardy? We’d really like to know and could you give us directions to your world? You see in the REAL world the rest of us live in children are sold into sexual slavery or worse by their Mummys and Daddys for the price of a drug fix, babies are roasted in ovens because they won’t stop crying, thugs kill, maim, rape ,rob every minute of every day, religious extremists are crossing our borders in unknown numbers with the one intent to kill or enslave every man, woman, and child in this country. The real world is filled with people who don’t care if you love your children and want them safe and unharmed and if just seeing a gun makes you hysterical, imagine how you’re gonna feel when one of them sticks a gun in their ear for their lunch money and chances are they will go ahead and pull the trigger just for the fun of it. Read a newspaper, watch the news instead of Sesame Street, learn abour the world you really live in and Robert it ain’t Never-Never Land and all your denial and refusal to accept the truth won’t help you at all when it’s your turn to be a victim of the scum we allow to walk our streets. Wake up and grow up while you and your loved ones are still alive and unhurt. Cowards are people who refuse to accept the real world they live in and insist on living in a fairytale because they too scared to face reality.

riggz

March 10th, 2010
8:38 pm

Robert wrote “riggz, I am not afraid of the gun in the holster. I am afraid of the “COWARD” wearing the gun in the holster. That’s the problem. The gun wearer is in danger of being “disarmed”. For example, what will stop me from taking your gun because I see you as a threat to my survival. Whenever there is a threat people will react to protect themselfs. If you bring a gun to a public place I would not feel safe. Your safety or mines. You make the call and live with the consequences.”

How am I the coward when it is YOU who is afraid of me? What will stop you from taking my gun? I will. Why would you take a gun from someone that is not posing a threat? Would you run up and try to take a gun from a police officer? How would you know I wasn’t an off duty cop or detective?

You say whenever there is a threat people will react to protect themselves… that is exactly what I will do except unlike you I will meet force with equal force. I’m not going to take a cup of coffee to a gun fight like you.

You would not feel safe because you have obviously not been properly trained in firearm safety and you are obviously not educated on the current gun laws of GA. I’d suggest you do some research before you post false statements regarding them.

Ben Gailey

March 10th, 2010
8:39 pm

“Robert”posted – “riggz, I am not afraid of the gun in the holster. I am afraid of the “COWARD” wearing the gun in the holster. That’s the problem. ”

first, just because someone chooses to carry a firearm doesnt make them a coward. if anything, it shows quite the opposite. the real coward in the situation is the one who, as soon as a bad situation starts to happen, runs and hides in the corner and calls the police, then has to wait 5 or 10 minutes for them to show up to the scene. as where the person carrying the firearm, is in the potential position to stop the criminal, and save lives.

“Robert” posted – “The gun wearer is in danger of being “disarmed”. For example, what will stop me from taking your gun because I see you as a threat to my survival.”

first, if your afraid of the person carrying the weapon, then why would you approach them and try to take it? second, if im in public, and some random person just comes to me and starts trying to take my weapon from me, then what would lead me to believe this person isnt trying to take my weapon so they can harm me?

basically, you can ask ANYONE who legally carries a firearm, and they will tell you the same thing im about to tell you. i carry my firearm everyday. i carry it the same as i would carry my wallet, or my cellphone. i think of my firearm in the same way i think of the seatbelts in my car. honestly, i hope i never need it. i never, ever want to be in a situation where i have to use it. however, if put in that situation, i would be glad i had it.