Gun Owners – Please Support this Change

For some time, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) refused to allow the carry of weapons for self defense, even if the person involved held a license or permit. Even in recent times, as more and more states issued licenses, the USACE refused to honor them, despite the fact that they were recognized in State Parks, and in National Parks that are not run by the USACE.

For those wondering (and I did) the USACE runs State Parks and National Parks that involve dammed waterways, and they maintain the dams. This sets these parks apart somewhat, in that they are managed by a branch of the military, rather than by the civilian parks departments. Because of this, a lot of the park rules reflect those in effect on Army bases, and one of those rules has been a prohibition on carry of weapons, even by service personnel.

As the other park systems began to relax their prohibitions in the wake of less restrictive carry laws, the Corps remained mired in the past. But state groups, notably GeorgiaCarry.org, continued to press the Corps to allow lawful carry by license holders.

In 2019, following a series of lawsuits by GCO, the Corps agreed to issue permission letters, if a citizen were to write and ask for such a letter. Then, should one be asked, this letter could be presented as proof of the right. But to be honest, even this restriction is too much, and GCO continued its legal pursuit.

And finally, this year the Corps agreed to change the rule! The proposed rule change is open to comments, and I highly recommend you go here and read the docket, and submit your supporting note. The deadline to submit is June 12, 2020.

Look for updates here as the rule gets closer to change.

Condition Orange – Georgia Update

Earlier this week I wrote about how we need to be in Condition Orange during the current pandemic. As part of this I posted a copy of the federal and Georgia state laws that apply to declarations of emergency. A GeorgiaCarry member read this and pointed out that Section 8 of the Georgia law had been changed in 2014 to read:

(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives, or combustibles; provided, however, that for purposes of this paragraph, the terms “explosives” and “combustibles” shall not include firearms or ammunition or any component thereof; and

This allows personal sales in addition to FFL sales, and was due in a large part to the work of my friends at GeorgiaCarry.org.

So I have corrected the copies of the law posted. If you got the one from the previous post, please discard it and use this one.

Condition Orange

In a state of emergency, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, things are already hectic and unpredictable, bordering on chaotic. In these times, one would think that the government would focus on helping citizens protect themselves, both from the stated dangers of the virus, and the dangers of those who would prey on the weak by taking advantage of the emergency.

Sadly, this is not the case.

In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the police went door to door and seized firearms from legal owners, and held them, until forced to return them three years later, after settling a lawsuit brought by the NRA-ILA.

So what should we law abiding gun owners expect, now that the White House and many states and cities have declared states of emergency?

Well, as with many things, this depends on where you live.

First, know that the US Government cannot seize your guns – legally – because of a state of emergency. See 42 U.S. Code § 5207.

In Georgia, the law used to allow authorities to seize our guns, but thanks to GeorgiaCarry, the law was changed, and now, while we can’t buy new guns, we can still carry the ones we own.

Georgia law O.C.G.A. 38-3-51 says,:

(c) The Governor shall have and may exercise for such period as the state of emergency or disaster exists or continues the following additional emergency powers:
…..
(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives, or combustibles; provided, however, that for purposes of this paragraph, the terms “explosives” and “combustibles” shall not include firearms or ammunition or any component thereof; and
(Emphasis added)

For a summary of laws from other states, see this post from Bigfoot Gunbelts.

So, what should we do?

First, know your rights in the state where you live. Do research. Contact your local state gun rights group.

Second, print out and keep a copy of the law with you, in case someone you encounter does not know the law. For those in Georgia, here is a copy.

Then, take action. For those of us in Georgia, buy ammo, if you can. Here in Kennesaw, 9mm was gone last week. But that’s why I lay in ammo any way.

But always, stay alert. Stay in Condition Orange. And stay safe.

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NOTE – Section 8 of the Georgia law had been updated to the current correct version.