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.
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