A sign that guns-on-campus push may fall short

Just finished a conversation with state Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, who asked his chamber today to delay action on SB 350, his bill to require law enforcement to return weapons used in crimes to their owners – at least, the innocent ones.

Let’s say a pistol stolen in a burglary is later used to rob a convenience store. Under this measure, ultimately, that piece would be returned to its legal owner. Not a big deal.

The bill is more significant for what it doesn’t contain. Four years ago, Balfour was a key figure in the business-backed fight against a bill pushed by the National Rifle Association that would have allowed legal gun-owners to keep firearms in locked cars on their employers’ parking lots.

It was a very large fight, very nasty, pitting property rights against gun rights. Balfour was the fellow who applied the coup de grace to the legislation.

But in the four years’ since, the Senate rules chairman has had a change of heart – the result, he said, of a conversation with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, who made this point: “If every business owner said you can’t have a gun in their parking lot, the only place you could have a gun is at home.”

As long as you didn’t rent.

“You could drive around with a gun in your car – as long as you didn’t stop,” Balfour said. In any case, the rules chairman said, the number of gunowners who keep firearms in their cars despite company rules or – in some cases, actual laws — is infinite. In essence, regardless of current statutes, guns in parking lots have become a Second Amendment version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

So why isn’t Balfour’s change of heart contained in his legislation? Because, the rules chairman said, it is still a delicate issue among key GOP constituencies – chambers of commerce and Second Amendment enthusiasts. The Senate Republican caucus hasn’t reached a consensus on the issue, he said.

Let us offer another possibility. The largest gun issue hanging over the Legislature this year is the demand for the right of college students (over the age of 21) to legally carry concealed weapons – on their persons – on public university campuses. Fueled by a number of robberies and assaults on and around the Georgia Tech campus. University officialdom has lobbied heavily against it.

Balfour won’t even concede that campus-carry is a matter for discussion. “I don’t hear that conversation in the Senate at all,” he said.

So let us review.

The man in charge of the flow of legislation in the state Senate may have just told gun-rights supporters what legislation might be within reach this year, with some significant persuading of his fellow GOP lawmakers. He also may have just told them what is impossible.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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68 comments Add your comment

blah

February 28th, 2012
4:08 pm

NRA members are legal gun owners and they aren’t the ones out shooting other people. It’s the Obama supporters committing all of the gun crimes.

gooberville

February 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

Troll comment by Blah is too obvious.

Let the gun owner’s kids shoot themselves, shoot their spouses who come to back to the house from work, shoot up their schools.

I like shooting guns, have gone hunting, and see no rational reason that anyone other than cops needs to strap on the pistol to carry around 24.7.

Must make these little tiny men feel so strong and potent.

That's Goofy

February 28th, 2012
4:29 pm

Wonder how the police feel about the let’s arm everybody mentality? What happens when an armed good guy is shot because he won’t drop his weapon?

My property rights trump your 2nd Amendment Rights.

td

February 28th, 2012
4:29 pm

gooberville

February 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

Talk about a troll. You do realize that the same bill of rights that allows you to come on this blog and spout your vile puck also allows citizens to have guns.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
4:31 pm

I could care less what the international image is of the US. As long as you leave my guns alone you won’t have any problems from me. And yes carrying guns make me feel very potent.

WaffleHouseIlluminati

February 28th, 2012
4:31 pm

Don’t come to my business and my property saying you have some silly right to override my rules. Ya frickin’ NRA communists.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
4:35 pm

“NRA Communists”, Hah, I like that. It’s what makes us so strong and feared.

sheepdawg

February 28th, 2012
4:38 pm

redneck ingnorant gun toting idiots, and doing noting to change

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
4:41 pm

My right to keep and bear arms wherever I want to shall not be infringed to include riding openly with my AK-47 on MARTA. Don’t believe me, look me up on youtube.

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

February 28th, 2012
4:45 pm

Johnny Reb Logic being guided by Johnny Reb Economics

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
4:51 pm

I know but I don’t start these exchanges. People like you do by bashing gun owners and calling us names, we just descend to the next level and give it back to you. I don’t know what your causes are or your politics but I think you know mine.

Frederick Douglass

February 28th, 2012
4:53 pm

Over 200 people killed or wounded in U.S. schools and colleges in less than 50 years, so how’s it a good idea to bring a gun to class?

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
4:55 pm

To Frederick Douglass: That’s easy, be prepared and shoot back.

honested

February 28th, 2012
4:58 pm

gunluvr, etl.al.

As a long time NRA (gun manufacturers lobby) and owner of numerous firearms, nobody carrying a firearm (employee or customer) is welcome in my business. The only exception is a uniformed Police officer.

Extend that to anywhere any normal person might want to be. A restaurant or bar that allows open carry will not get my (or most upstanding Citizen’s) business.

Of course I would guess the bill in the headline is the sort of thing you would use to attract girls. Just walk across campus totin’ that AK and see them flock to you. However lad, that nonsense is a sick dream, that the world would be a better place if every moron had a pistol strapped on.

honested

February 28th, 2012
5:05 pm

gnomeboy,

My you are a double-plus-good talk radio duckspeaker.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
5:07 pm

That’s fine. I respect you and your right not to allow guns on your private property and I don’t go where I’m not wanted. The same goes for putting out the good word and supporting businesses like Starbucks that welcome me and my guns on their premises to buy their product.

As far as attracting girls go I’m happily married and at this point of my life I really don’t need anymore temptations. And that’s “your” opinion about the world not being a better place. I strongly disagree.

jd

February 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

Let the free market decide. If you want to carry a gun to work — go to work for a business owner who agrees with you. Stop using the government as a babysitter to force property owners to do what they do not want to do! Bunch of socialists is all this gun lobby is… We know better and we’ll use the government to show you! Tyranny at its worst — Read Federalist 53!

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
5:19 pm

Socialists? Just remember most of the problems relating to the modern pro and anti-gun situation started back in 94 when a group of anti-gunners in Congress tried to take away the right to keep and bear arms along with Bill Clinton; they were sent packing and the rest who were left learned their lesson.

GaBlue

February 28th, 2012
5:20 pm

College kids, GUNS, academic stress, peer pressure, money problems, immaturity, jello shots, nekkidness, and unrealistic expectations of that powerful emotion they think is “love.” What could go wrong?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

February 28th, 2012
5:23 pm

So glad that our state legislature knows the priorities…

By the way, having known about the average campus cop, how could you NOT want to allow college students to protect themselves with fire arms? The crazy ones can get access to it any time they want. This way sane folks can protect themselves.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

February 28th, 2012
5:24 pm

(FYI: This is a stupid law to work on until we fix education, transportation and employment, but I do agree people should be allowed to take guns with them where they want to go. Right to Self protection should trump property rights.)

td

February 28th, 2012
5:26 pm

“well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Vague and ambiguous? It can not be clearer. Every white male in the country at the time of the Bill of rights was considered the “Militia”.

The right to “keep and bear” guns “shall not be infringed”. Pretty clear to me. The government can not make any law that limits my rights to have and carry a gun.

The only question is does a private property owner have the right to say I can not carry my weapon on his property. I would say they maybe. I have not seen any decision by the SCOTUS say property rights supercede

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
5:26 pm

You know what? I’m going to be reasonable and meet you halfway. If colleges don’t want guns in their dorms or in their classrooms buy lockers to secure the guns for those who carry them while they’re in class; with the gun owner keeping the key. This is the case in some courthouses in Utah and Arizona.

td

February 28th, 2012
5:30 pm

I have not seen any decision by the SCOTUS say property rights trump individual rights. I would argue that since the property owners can not bar people of different races and genders from coming into a place to eat then individual rights trump property rights and I should be able to carry a gun into anyones place of business.

honested

February 28th, 2012
5:37 pm

td,

Isn’t it a little early to be waxing absurd.
In 1783, what was the likelihood of a Citizen strolling into a pub with a musket, having a few too many, being able to load aim and fire the musket without substantial interference from those around them?
Answer, no chance.
Fast forward to today. With numerous 9mm 10 shot pistols available, that same pub situation is prone to go way bad within a couple of mugs.
I would welcome providing the SCOTUS evidence, NO FIREARMS IN MY BUSINESS UNLESS CARRIED BY UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS.
Prices, terms and conditions are not subject to change to suit the neanderthal who is afraid to leave the house without a pistol.

td

February 28th, 2012
5:45 pm

honested

February 28th, 2012
5:37 pm

I have read where people were killed by guns in pubs during the time of the founding of our nation.

I said I do not know if your property rights outweigh my personal rights because the question has not been answered. I also think if you follow other property rights decisions made by the SCOTUS then an argument could be made that property rights do not trump personal rights. What is absurd about the point?

GaBlue

February 28th, 2012
5:48 pm

I would like to carry my vicious, killer pit bull into any and every place of business I enter, because frankly, I don’t feel safe ANYWHERE. But I respect the right of management to veto that as well. Not everyone wuvs my wittow sweetums like I do! I have the maturity to accept that.

MB

February 28th, 2012
5:49 pm

As a liberal 2nd amendment supporter (yes we do exist) I would expect SB350 to fail because I do not believe the 2nd amendment trumps private property rights any more than I believe the 1st trumps them. The gun bill to watch in this election year for those interested is SB 981.

MB

February 28th, 2012
5:50 pm

Sorry, make that HB 981.

honested

February 28th, 2012
5:52 pm

td,

Look at it this way, my absence of religion makes me worshipful of a gun free workplace.

Chew on that for a minute.

WaffleHouseIlluminati

February 28th, 2012
5:56 pm

Gunluvr. If as you wrote, “I respect you and your right not to allow guns on your private property and I don’t go where I’m not wanted.” Then you cannot possibly Balfour’s amendment ’cause it guts the private property and business owners rights.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
5:58 pm

Also, there’s bill to authorize guns to be carried into “places of worship”; I think it will pass but I don’t know what the Atlanta Archdiocesan policy will be to accommodate parishioners like me.

td

February 28th, 2012
6:00 pm

honested

February 28th, 2012
5:52

I will tell you what. Since I have a carry permit, tell me where you place of business is and we can go down in history with a test case for our theories. I can come wearing my gun and you can call law enforcement because you think your property rights are being violated. I promise I will not try to shoot you. lol

double

February 28th, 2012
6:02 pm

Personal/property I do not know.Do know life takes priority over property.You shoot a thief or trespasser you got problems.Honested do you search all that come into your business?Do you have a body scanner?

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
6:05 pm

Most of the bills like Balfour’s will carve out an exemption of some kind to accommodate those concerns. I don’t want to see guns pushed onto people, areas or businesses who don’t want them but I do want gun owners to be able go to about their business and do their errands in a routine manner with their guns if they want to without any kind of hindrance or problem.

td

February 28th, 2012
6:06 pm

WaffleHouseIlluminati

February 28th, 2012
5:56 pm

Gunluvr. If as you wrote, “I respect you and your right not to allow guns on your private property and I don’t go where I’m not wanted.” Then you cannot possibly Balfour’s amendment ’cause it guts the private property and business owners rights

Where exactly in the bill are property rights gutted? I just read the bill and it saying nothing about carrying a gun on private property.

honested

February 28th, 2012
6:10 pm

td,

If this stupid bill passes, I’ll run it by my attorney. If she thinks it’s a good idea, you’re on.

Aside from that, you step into the morass of assigning a ‘property right’ that is trumped by an ‘individual right’. As the individual in charge of the ‘property’ there is no difference. The ‘property’ in and of itself has no ‘rights’.

honested

February 28th, 2012
6:12 pm

double,

My customers can read and (although over the years, one or two have whined) most understand and appreciate it. They feel safe and guarded away from gun nuts.

Don't Tread

February 28th, 2012
6:13 pm

“…further cementing our international image as place where gun “rights” mean more than human life and peaceful coexistence”

Well Puck, you are more than welcome to “peacefully coexist” with the next thug that crosses your path. Please, by all means, peacefully coexist with them.

Honested, all you have to do is post a sign at the door saying “no weapons allowed”. Those of us who legally carry ours can decide if we want to spend money there or not.

honested

February 28th, 2012
6:15 pm

don’t tread,

Exactly.
It has never turned away a dollar I wanted.

td

February 28th, 2012
6:50 pm

honested

February 28th, 2012
6:10 pm

Interesting point. Like I have said I do not know which trumps which and it is a very interesting subject.

Fallschirmjäger

February 28th, 2012
7:36 pm

“…only the police need to have guns…”
So, tell me please, just what is it about a shiny piece of tin that imbues a certain government employee with characteristics and qualities that are not present in the rest of us?
Does it work like those magnetic bracelets that are guaranteed to cure cancer? Or is it the copper ones? Maybe it’s the quartz crystals?
Anyway, it must be some sort of magic because only those wearing that shiny bauble can develop it.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
7:53 pm

Fallschirmjager; What was your unit?

Cobb Republican

February 28th, 2012
8:02 pm

First, we aren’t talking college kids carrying on campus. We are talking about background checked adults over 21 years old that have a license issued by a probate judge. These people are honest and are making an effort to be responsible while improving themselves.

For example, I’m a licensed professional engineer responsible for a construction budget of greater than $100M/year. I have an engineering degree and a carry License. When I attended Emory for my MBA, the state of Georgia denied me the right to protect myself on campus. Why? Because I was a student. Is that fair or even logical?

honested

February 28th, 2012
8:05 pm

falls……,

I don’t know, training, expanded background check, professional oath, a job description that places preference on public safety.

As opposed to some clown with a glock in his pocket that isn’t welcome on my premises.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
8:08 pm

You can’t reason with the anti-gunners here, they don’t want to hear it and it doesn’t matter how much education you have or your intellect; no guns for you or me if they can help it.

Gunluvr

February 28th, 2012
8:11 pm

Honested I’m curious; what is your business?

David Beall

February 28th, 2012
8:33 pm

Well Puck, your attitude is typical for an uninformed liberal. Law abiding gun owners are rarely involved in accidental shootings and are more often involved in situations where their gun saved their life or a loved one’s life. Stop living in your left-wing fantasy land.

Todhog

February 28th, 2012
8:37 pm

Hon and Waffle, please name your businesses so that I may avoid them.

RD

February 28th, 2012
9:11 pm

Only police huh? Find for me one example of a licensed law abiding citizen that carries daily that has shot anyone that was not threatening their life and I’ll show you 20 examples of police officers arrested for beating, driving drunk, child pornography, soliciting prostitution, or just downright abusing their “sworn oath”. That badge does not automatically make you a good, honorable, upstanding human being. You don’t believe in guns, fine, don’t buy one. You don’t want a gun owner in your business, fine, post a sign. But leave my gun alone, period.