Your morning jolt: Drink and pack heat – at the same time

Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson, his wife Diane by his side, signs up for re-election on Monday. AP/John Amis

Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson, his wife Diane by his side, signs up for re-election on Monday. AP/John Amis

The Georgia State Patrol and your insurance company may frown upon drinking and driving.

But the state of Georgia may be about to let you drink and carry. Travis Fain of the Macon Telegraph has pieced together this from SB 308, a much-amended overhaul of the state’s concealed-carry laws:

State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh was asked about this Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee and he said that, yes, licensed carriers will be able to drink a bar while carrying a gun, if the owner has OK’d carrying in the bar.

He said Georgia doesn’t have a blanket prohibition against drinking and carrying and “We’ve not had issues with that.”

But in case you’re worried that someone who’s just downed six margaritas will take permanent issue with the fact that you’ve dipped your chip in the wrong salsa bowl, Fain adds this:

There is, though, a blanket prohibition against firing a gun while drinking in Georgia.

Whew.

A House vote on the bill could come today.

His and her Democratic candidates DuBose and Carol Porter formally enter races for governor, lieutenant governor, respectively. AP/John Amis

His and her Democratic candidates DuBose and Carol Porter formally enter races for governor, lieutenant governor, respectively. AP/John Amis

The Association County Commissioners of Georgia usually holds its annual convention after lawmakers in Atlanta have gone home.

But when the Legislature extended its stay, the ACCG couldn’t very well cancel its reservations in Savannah. So Georgia’s county commissioners got their first extended analysis of HB 277, the new measure that encourages various regions of the state to levy an extra sales for transportation.

Many of them were not impressed. In fact, there was a certain eagerness to shoot the messenger, said Matt Hicks, who handles economic development and transportation issues for the ACCG.

Objections from county commissioners are four in number, said Hicks:

– Too much authority is given the director of planning for the state Department of Transportation, a position that reports directly to the governor;

– The sales tax vote, scheduled for July 2012, would compete with 124 referendums for other sales taxes scheduled to expire that year, including the city of Atlanta’s tax for overhauling its sewage system.

– The planning councils selecting regional projects would exacerbate tensions between rural and urban areas.

– The “incentives” for cooperation look more like punishment for non-cooperation. Counties that fail to schedule a 2012 vote on a sales tax will be required to pony up 50 percent matching funds if they want state cash for transit projects.

Counties that schedule a vote, but whose electorate declines to pass the measure, would face a 30 percent match for state road funds.

GOP candidate for governor Eric Johnson rallies fans before qualifying. AP/John Amis

GOP candidate for governor Eric Johnson rallies fans before qualifying. AP/John Amis

Counties that schedule a vote, and pass it, will be required to put up only 10 percent in matching funds.

State Sen. Judson Hill of Marietta has had a complaint filed against him before the State Ethics Commission, asking the panel to investigate a series of loans between the candidate and his campaign fund.

Click here to read the complaint, filed under the name of Marietta attorney Ronnie Knighton.

Hill is in a fierce GOP primary with Lynda Coker, chief deputy with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department. Do not pretend that those two facts are unconnected.

Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson drew several hundred supporters to a short rally after qualifying to run for a second term on Monday. He emphasized his good health, and brandished an endorsement from former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller.

Democrat R.J. Hadley also qualified in the Senate race, with state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to come.

When you’re annoyed that journalists are spending too much time pondering over whether an upstart state lawmaker might run against an incumbent Republican lieutenant governor, what can you do?

You have a splashy qualifying event, of course. But you also release a list of 600 current and former local public officials who support your candidacy – including 70 of the state’s 159 sheriffs.

See Casey Cagle’s list here.

Real estate executive Ray Boyd after his candidacy for governor is rejected by Republicans. AP/John Amis

Real estate executive Ray Boyd after his candidacy for governor is rejected by Republicans. AP/John Amis

State Sen. Seth Harp (R-Midway) announced this morning that he’ll have two GOP stalwarts backing his bid for state insurance commissioner – Nancy Coverdell, widow of the former U.S. senator, and former GOP nominee for governor Howard “Bo” Callaway. They’ll act as co-chairs.

And yes, that’s the name of ousted Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill on the secretary of state’s list of candidates qualifying for state Senate races.

Hill has decided he needs a promotion, and will challenge Democratic incumbent Valencia Seay of Riverdale for her District 34 seat. Seay has been out much of the current session due to health issues.

Today’s Washington Post has a profile of Nick Ayers, once the teenage chauffeur for Republican candidate for governor Sonny Perdue. Ayers is now head of the Republican Governors Association:

Since taking the helm in January 2007, Ayers has transformed the creaky committee into a tight ship that has attracted Republican money bundlers disillusioned with Michael Steele’s Republican National Committee and its spending sprees.

On a Wednesday afternoon, Ayers, wearing a blue pinstripe suit, chunky silver watch and the blond hair of a barbershop’s model book, bounds around the second-floor office. He shows off camouflage-and-shotgun pictures of himself and Barbour standing over a dead quail, or of himself and Perdue crouching over dead turkeys.

He avoids his polished desk, saying he can’t sit still for too long, and steps over to the overlapping whiteboards on the wall where he drafts policy and talking points for his candidates, keeps track of their finances and lists his core principles (”No Drama,” “We Are All Fundraisers”). Outside his office, he eagerly talks up his communications team, his new-media geeks and the guy who just sold an iPhone app. Almost everyone looks young enough to be carded.

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56 comments Add your comment

Illegals for Johnny Bailout

April 27th, 2010
9:30 am

I’ll be voting for Johnny Isakson because he’ll be voting for me.

You Asked

April 27th, 2010
9:30 am

New Georgia packin heat in public law = thinning the drunk driver herd.

Morrus

April 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

Byron Mathison Kerr

April 27th, 2010
9:43 am

With regards to the Drinking and Packing law, I will definitely be looking for watering holes where the owner does not allow guns inside the bar! I mean, really, is this 21th century Georgia or 19th century wild, wild west?!

Cobb

April 27th, 2010
9:48 am

I will definitely be looking for banks where the owner does not allow bank robberies inside the bank… so I can feel safe.

DannyX

April 27th, 2010
10:05 am

No worries Cobb.

There is a blanket prohibition against firing a gun while banking in Georgia.

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
10:08 am

I would have to disagree with Mr. Fain’s statement above… It specifically states on the back of my concealed carry permit that a CCP holder “shall not consume alcholic beverages in a restaurant or other eating establishment while carring a firearm.” If you ask me, people who have been able to obtain a carry permit should be allowed to carry to a bar by law. However, it would not be smart for such a person to do so and then go and start dringking heavily. If this person were to have to use this gun for self defense after drinking, he could be in a world of legal trouble in the fallout following such a shooting. Being under the influence of alcohol is one of the fastest ways for a legitimate self defense shooting to turn into manslaughter.

Darrell

April 27th, 2010
10:11 am

The lowest crime rate in America ever was in the West between 1880 and 1900.

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
10:13 am

An armed society is a polite society

Peeps

April 27th, 2010
10:24 am

How can we pass a law that will allow people to bring concealed weapons into bars/restaurants/churches/parks YET still have a law that prohibits buying beer at Kroger on a Sunday? If I’m over 21, and beer is legal to purchase, how is it ILLEGAL based on the day of the week? Makes no sense.

Monroe Burbank

April 27th, 2010
10:43 am

A couple of weeks back GA Republican legislative senators passed a bill that would allow people with no health insurance to stay uninsured, regardless of federal mandate. Brilliant idea! Last week, they sponsor a bill that would require Obama to prove his citizenship in order to be placed on GA’s 2012 presidential ballot. Ingenious!! Now, some of these guys want to make it OK to carry a gun into a bar. Magnificent!!!

These guys are a bunch of backwoods yahoos who were elected by a bunch of backwoods yahoos.

Green Acres

April 27th, 2010
10:44 am

Yikes! Cagle will need to tweak his “list” just a tad if Scott gets into the race for LG. The ground swell of support over the last few weeks for Austin has come from many of those named on Cagle’s list.

Monroe Burbank

April 27th, 2010
10:48 am

One more thing. Somebody needs to tell Darrell that crime rate statistics weren’t kept for the American west during 1880 – 1900 time period.

Base

April 27th, 2010
10:49 am

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
10:57 am

Monroe Burbank… if you dont like the way things are here, there are 49 other states to choose from… As for the issues you brought up, its not the federal goverments job to make everyone have health insurance. Especially when the system they are proposing is unsustainable. Secondly, the issue of citizenship is a very easy one to dispel; howevery, dating back to the election, he has refused to do the simple thing and put it to rest. Finally, its only people with permits that would be able to carry, not everyone. This bill is not going to turn Georgia into a modern day version of the wild west. I am proud of my backwood yahoo’s and what they are doing.

Cagle's List

April 27th, 2010
10:59 am

Really, Gary Vowell? The Tifton Sheriff who practically raised Austin? I highly doubt he’ll be supporting Cagle over Austin if he enters the LG race.

Fang1944

April 27th, 2010
11:02 am

Concealed Carrier
April 27th, 2010
10:13 am

An armed society is a polite society

———————

Why have so many people started quoting this ignorant, crackpotty statement?

Joe-number2

April 27th, 2010
11:19 am

Monroe—Just a little question for you? If you were marooned on a deserted island with nine complete strangers for one year. One of the ten people has a gun and is isn’t you. Knowing this little fact, would you feel safer if everyone had a gun, or would you prefer that only the one person that you know absolutely nothing about had the gun?

SBinF

April 27th, 2010
11:23 am

To Concealed Carry:

Even if Obama were born outside of the country, he would be a U.S. citizen because his mother was a U.S. citizen, and she had resided in the U.S. for a number of years before his birth. Of course, I wouldn’t want to let facts get in the way of your fallacious reasoning.

Joe-number2

April 27th, 2010
11:28 am

Fang1944 Why have so many people started quoting this statement? Maybe because it is true! Check out the crime stats and gun ownership rates for Switzerland.

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
11:28 am

First, who are you to judge the ignorance or validity of this statement? To answer your question, if you look at the crime statistics in areas where there is a high density of CCP holders, there is a double digit percentage drop in crime across the board. However, I am sure all you have seen is the sensationalized statistics that have been shown in the news.

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
11:29 am

Joe-number2- I couldnt agree more!

Concealed Carrier

April 27th, 2010
11:34 am

SBinF:
First off, I dont think I ever said he is not one… I beleive I just raised the question that if he is why not address it and put it to rest… And, to directly address the facts you brought up… I would submit to you that those are not all of the facts, and that it is not as cut and dry as you would make it sound.

Unimpressed

April 27th, 2010
11:49 am

SBinF, in order to legally be POTUS, one has to be born in the United States. Simply being a citizen is NOT enough.

The Cynical White Boy

April 27th, 2010
11:54 am

When Clayton County folks go to vote this time, will Ex-Sheriff Victor Hill have swat teams stationed on the roof of the precint to make sure they vote the right way?

BPJ

April 27th, 2010
11:56 am

This proposal might actually work, because we would wind up with two different kinds of bars:
(1) bars for sane people, where firearms are not allowed (armed bouncers at the door could check), and

(2) bars for crazy people, where drinking and carrying a firearm is encouraged. The hard-right Republicans, Tea Partiers (Long Island Ice Tea of course), Boortz worshippers, Randian “Objectivists”, Rand Paul fans, and assorted mud-wrestlers could drink, argue, and gradually shoot each other into oblivion.

JoeV

April 27th, 2010
11:57 am

Unimpressed is correct, but we all know its been proven already (that he was born in the US) so no need to carry on any more…

right

April 27th, 2010
12:00 pm

Republicans are idiots! Democrats are all “worthless and weak”.

Alan

April 27th, 2010
12:06 pm

THE THUGS ALREADY DO THIS! It does not matter if this passed or not because the black people do it anyway. Every other weekend in this ruined city you hear about a shooting at a black club. I have been going out to white, safe bars and clubs in this city for 11 years and have never even seen anyone with a gun. I see a minor fight maybe once a year. Why are blacks so out of control? Why carry a gun when you are going out to have fun? They already ruined Buckhead.

BPJ

April 27th, 2010
12:13 pm

If anyone doubts that “thug” is now used as a code word for “black man”, Alan’s post should put that issue to rest.

Alan

April 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

BPJ, darn right. Thug = gang members who wear their pants to their knees, hat sideways with the sticker and tag on it (I will never get that), who carry guns. That is a black person 99% of the time. Deal with it.

Ben

April 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

Boy, am I glad I moved from Georgia. The Legislature has no focus on the problems of the people. How long did it take to get a transportation bill? How about funding for schools and hospitals. Don’t leave out the state mentally ill facilities? No, we focus on guns. Really smart and focused.

Joe-number2

April 27th, 2010
12:19 pm

Question. If I were a overnight quest in you home, and about 4:am when all is quite and everyone is sleeping we here the dreadful sound of the sliding glass patio door shattering into a thousand pieces what would you do? Call 911 and maybe be put on hold! Maybe you phone line has been cut, and where is your cell phone—on the kitchen table, in the car, in your pants pocket or purse,—-who knows. Even if the police are on the way remember that the person or persons why broke the glass door are already in side your house—and my friends this is not the girl scouts making a 4:am call—not the Avon lady—why, not even the Jehovah Witness inviting you to church —oh no folks these are Bad people! Do you think they are armed? Gee, I think maybe they are! Now I am there and have my gun with me and will be glad to help out. Do you want me to? Or do you think that only the police should have guns?

PapaSmurf

April 27th, 2010
12:21 pm

Hey Alan, I’m a so called “Thug”. I don’t own a gun and go out to bars that every race patronizes in Atlanta. Nobody messes with me. I tell you what. Why don’t we meet up and we hang out this weekend. We’ll be safe since you’re the one who owns the gun. I’ll drive my car if you don’t want me in yours. Lets meet up and have a good time brother. Deal?

BPJ

April 27th, 2010
12:21 pm

(1) I don’t have a sliding glass patio door.
(2) I do have two German Shepherds.

Alan

April 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

I don’t own a gun. No reason to as I live where it is safe and only go places that are safe.

PapaSmurf

April 27th, 2010
12:31 pm

That makes two of us then. Safety is subjective.These places you go to can 100% guarantee your safety and the safety of others at any time? Just curious

Alan

April 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

Alpharetta, East Cobb, Forsyth, Peachtree City, all pretty safe. Don’t really hear about shootings and murders there. As far as going out, the few bars that are left in Buckhead (Fado’s, East Andrews, etc). They don’t make us walk through medal detectors there. Pretty nice. You people can get as mad as you want but all I said in my original post was the truth.

Joe-number2

April 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

Well BPJ in this example do you really think your dogs are a match for gun toting intruders. Think of all the homes that do have glass doors of any kind. I have a 94 year old aunt who lives alone and so far back in the Tennessee woods that any officer if the law is twenty minutes away. Come on! I know you do better than you last response. How of often do you here of a mass shooting at a gun shop—at a firing range—at a police station? You know, if guns are so dangerous!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

April 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

This state is so ass-backwards when it comes to laws here. I’ve been supporting Sunday alcohol sales forever- it’s not like the state can’t use the extra tax revenue to help with roads, marta, etc. how pathetic is that? so you can go into a bar, having a bad day, drink till your hammered, then pull out your gun and shoot somebody- ALL ON A SUNDAY.

Chuck

April 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

People seem to think that legally licensed concealed firearms carriers are criminals and will use their weapons wantonly in bars if given the chance. Criminals do and will continue to illegally carry in bars and elsewhere with or without this law. The individuals with a Georgia firearm license have had criminal background checks and are very law abiding as a group (they lose their license if not). This ‘wild west’ that people keep writing about will not exist if SB308 is passed. The gun laws will simply be more clear and easy to follow for me and other law abiding citizens with firearms licenses. I do agree with Concealed Carry that it is redundant to be charged with public endangerment if you are in your rights to fire a weapon but you have consumed a drop of alcohol. Maybe the law on shooting a gun while intoxicated should be based on the BAL such as .02 or .08 like driving.

PapaSmurf

April 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

Fado’s is a favorite of mine, enjoyed St. Patty’s Day there. Actually what you said isn’t the truth since you said all of us have guns which I don’t. Other people may be upset, I’m not, just trying to find out what everyone’s talking about.

Kat

April 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

GO VICTOR! You can do it! :) (and yes I am white, so kiss it nay-saying rednecks!)

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

April 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

i agree as well that not everyone who has a permit who is going to just start shooting people at will. But alcohol, fighting, & guns are never a good mix- especially if that person has a temper. I’m more upset about not being able to purchase alcohol on a Sunday. Seriously, if the Southern Baptists & Sonny are so concerned that GA will turn into vice city or something absurd like that- why not limit the sales from 12pm to 5pm only on a Sunday. Win/Win situation.

Joe-number2

April 27th, 2010
12:59 pm

I whole heartily agree with you on Sunday alcohol sale Dr. Noisewater.

Joel Six Pack

April 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

Legal to drink and carry a firearm in a bar but not to shoot it. That makes exactly as much sense as allowing convicted child molesters to become day care workers, teachers, scoutmasters and priests as long as they don’t get caught actually molesting a child.

2nd amend

April 27th, 2010
1:03 pm

there was a second amendment rally in VA a couple weeks ago where most ppl there carried a fire arm. Guess what, no one got shot; the problem is not the concealed carry permit holder, its the CRIMINAL. i do not like the dems or the republicans, but i do love the constitution.

Joel Six Pack

April 27th, 2010
1:12 pm

Ask any police investigator and they’ll tell you that in many, many cases, opportunity to commit a crime is the determining factor in crimes actually being comitted. They way we fight crime in partnership with the police in my neighborhood is to remove as many opportunities to commit crime as we can. I assert that providing a legal opportunity to mix booze and guns is unwise.

BPJ

April 27th, 2010
1:43 pm

Joe #2, you haven’t met my German Shepherds.

But of course I support the right of people to choose to have, or not have, a gun at home for their protection. No one is challenging that. And I really don’t have strong feelings about gun carry laws. All I really want as far as “gun control legislation” are laws which make it less easy for crooks and nuts to buy guns. Note that I don’t claim we can make it impossible for crooks and nuts to buy guns, just less easy than it is now.

Marlboro Man

April 27th, 2010
2:07 pm

Better be careful when pointing a weapon, you weapon pointers.