The debate continues to rage over what limitations, if any, should be put on an individual’s right to carry firearms in public. This past year we have seen many states tighten their grip on gun owners, and we have seen others embrace the individual right to keep and bear arms by loosening former regulations. Today the state of Georgia is taking a major step in the right direction, strengthening their citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, and moving closer to the original interpretation of the right as intended by the framers and protected by the 2nd Amendment.
At noon Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to sign the sweeping legislation into law. One of the most permissive state gun laws in the nation, it will allow licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in the past century, including bars and government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints.
The law also authorizes school districts to appoint staffers to carry firearms. It allows churches to “opt-in” if they want to allow weapons. Bars could already “opt-in” to allow weapons, but under the new law they must opt out if they want to bar weapons. Permit-holders who accidentally bring a gun to an airport security checkpoint will now be allowed to pick up their weapon and leave with no criminal penalty. NBCNews.com Gabe Guitierrez
This bill, in it’s essence, de-criminalizes law abiding citizens for carrying firearms. It allows firearms to be carried in designated public buildings, allows for the arming of staff on school property, allows for Churches to decide whether or not to allow firearms, and allows private business owners (bar owners) to make their own decision on whether or not to allow firearms on their property. All of these changes move us closer to the liberty originally intended and protected by the 2nd Amendment, and push the decision making process further down the government chain to the local level.
A free people should be free to choose for themselves to be armed, and no law or regulation should infringe upon this natural right. Likewise, all business owners should be authorized to decide what they feel is right for their business. Not surprisingly, the gun control group founded by former AZ Congresswoman Gabby Giffords has called the legislation “the most extreme gun bill in America” and is fighting hard against it. I do not believe that trusting the citizens of a free nation to defend themselves and their property is an “extreme” position.
Opponents of this bill forget that criminals do not obey laws. This bill does no more to encourage the use of firearms in violent crime, as does a “Gun Free Zone” sign discourage the mentally deranged from committing heinous crimes. With individual liberty comes personal responsibility, and this bill puts the trust back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.