Guide to State Gun Rights Groups

My friend Kevin Creighton over at Quietly Armed has written a very nice summary of the leading state level gun rights organizations, over at Ammoman.

You can tell Kevin is serious because he left out Georgia Gun Owners. I won’t even go there.

Check it out.

Coming This Weekend – the GeorgiaCarry.org Convention

Kenn Blanchard

When I went to my first big blogger shindig, the Lucky Gunner Blogger Shoot in 2011, the first event I went to was a dinner for all the participants. I mingled a little, not really knowing anyone there personally, and then we all took seats.

As it turns out, I sat directly across from Great Satan, but fortunately, I also sat next to Reverend Kenn Blanchard. We chatted throughout the evening, and kept up the next day, and I found him to be a warm and funny man.

Kenn is sometimes better know as the Black Man With a Gun, from the blog and podcast and Facebook page of the same name, and he will be this year’s Keynote Speaker at the annual GeorgiaCarry.org convention, held this weekend at the Renaissance Waver Hotel in Atlanta.

GeorgiaCarry.org is THE voice for gun owners and the Second Amendment in Georgia. Since 2007 they have been responsible for removing so many of the antiquated gun laws in this state, including prohibitions against carrying in a public gathering, restaurant carry, and even carry in public and government buildings. And despite all this, blood does not run in the streets.

I will be there Saturday, all day, and I look forward to seeing as many of you there as I can. Please message me and we will get together.

GeorgiaCarry Sues Over School Carry Law

As I reported last year, the Georgia Legislature passed a law, HB 826, which Governor Deal signed, that exempts GWCL holders from prosecution for carrying weapons within school zones.

As one might expect, the idea that HB 286 actually allows what it says it allows was disputed, most notably by the Georgia Attorney General.

And, as one might expect, GeorgiaCarry.Org has filed a lawsuit to force the State to read the words in the law, and enforce the law as written.

More to come, I am sure . . . .

For Once, Hillary Is Right

In a recent CNN town hall meeting, Hillary Clinton, who looks more and more like the leading Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, said this about gun control:

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”

When I read (and re-read) that, the image in my mind was the huge crowd outside the NRA convention in Indianapolis.

Courtesy of National Review

Courtesy of National Review

It was estimated at times to be as large as 30 protesters. This compared to the 75,267 NRA members and supporters inside.

Or the 5 people who showed up last August to protest the thousand inside the GeorgiaCarry convention.

Time and again, this numerical disparity is demonstrated. A minority of misinformed people ranting about

  • Background checks – we already must have them
  • Automatic weapons – already heavily regulated, unless you can manage to buy them in Mexico from the BATF.
  • Gun Show loopholes – which don’t exist

Yes, for once, I agree with Her Majesty. It’s time for the minority to shut the hell up.

School Carry Quietly Enacted in Georgia

Of late, the whole world, it seems, has been all aflurry about the “Guns Everywhere” bill in Georgia, HB60, recently signed by Governor Nathan Deal. This bill allows lawful Georgia Weapons Carry License holders to carry guns in bars, churches (with the permission of the church leadership), and in the unsecured parts of government buildings. The anti-gun factions have been most vocal, claiming as usual that this will lead to Blood In The Streets and a Return To The Wild West.

Of course, Georgia is not the first state to allow carry in these locations, and none of the other states have had any increase in gun usage in these locations. In fact, a study by the Richmond Times Dispatch showed a 5.2 percent decrease in crime involving firearms in bars in the state of Virginia in the first year following enactment of that state’s bar carry law. I would encourage a news outlet in Georgia to investigate HB60’s effects and report on it in July 2015. But, in the meantime, I will continue to breathe normally.

One of the places that “Everywhere” does not include in HB60, however, are schools. School carry was eliminated from the bill early on, because it created so much controversy.

So it comes as a surprise (to me at least) that there was another bill, HB826 (coincidentally sponsored by my State Senator, Lindsey Tippins), signed by Governor Deal yesterday. This bill changes how guns are treated in school zones, and it lists the people who are exempt from being considered in violation of the law. Exemption 6 says:

A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, when he or she is within a school safety zone or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any firearm legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone;

This changes the old law which only exempted GWCL holders who were in a school parking lot picking someone up. Note that GWCL holders are now exempted everywhere “within a school safety zone.” And, just to make it clear, another part of the law says

‘School safety zone’ means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to any school or postsecondary institution.

So, this law, which goes into effect July 1, legalizes campus carry in Georgia.

Like most people, I was surprised and caught unaware that this was in the offing. But I am glad to see it.

However, I am cautious of how this will be received. I think my feelings are best echoed by Jerry Henry, the Executive Director of GeogiaCarry.org, who said in an email to members

What this means for you is that, according to GeorgiaCarry.Org, beginning on July 1 it will be legal to carry a weapon on school grounds.  There is, however, some debate about the new law, with some in law enforcement and schools claiming that the new law must mean something else.  As a result, GeorgiaCarry.Org asks its members to exercise common sense when carrying on school grounds so as to avoid bad publicity with respect to the hypersensitivity likely to be displayed towards a weapon in the school environment.  This will have the added benefit of giving the legislature no good or valid reason to re-criminalize weapons in school when the General Assembly meets again.

Lacking any stupid person flaunting a gun needlessly at some school event, we should be on our way to better protecting our children.

Thank you, Governor Deal, Lindsey Tippins, and the Georgia Legislature!

GeorgiaCarry Convention Report

SAMSUNGI had a great time last month at the GeorgiaCarry.org 5th Annual Convention. I got to meet a lot of great supporters of gun rights in Georgia, and hear some great speakers, and share in the successes and challenges of the last year, and the year ahead.

Some highlights from the convention:

  • There was a TV crew from the Netherlands at the convention all weekend, making a documentary about GeorgiaCarry.org. They were quite friendly, and asked a lot of questions.
  • A protest group, Georgia Gun Sense Coalition, held a protest in front of the convention center, and the event drew about a dozen people, and was covered by a local community news website.
  • There were no Atlanta news outlets covering our convention. I thought this was sad, although not surprising.
  • Despite the fact that Georgia law does not require formal training or testing of any kind in order to receive a Georgia Weapons Carry License, GeorgiaCarry.org has developed a Georgia Firearms Carry Course, which covers basic firearms operations and selection, concealed carry basics, and goes over Georgia Law governing concealed carry. It is the first training class of its kind specifically designed to cover Georgia requirements. During the convention, GeorgiaCarry.org offered, free of charge, a training class to certified NRA instructors, which further certified them to teach this class. Over 30 instructors are now ready to begin teaching.
  • Even though ownership of firearms in Georgia is up significantly in the last year, and GeorgiaCarry.org has added over a thousand members, there has been no increase in the number of firearms deaths or accidents in Georgia in that time.
  • It will be of interest to our neighbors in North Carolina that despite claims that HB89, the law passed in 2008 that allowed carry in restaurants and bars, incidents of blood running in the streets outside these establishments has not been observed. In other words, lawful gun owners obey the laws and mind their own business wherever they are, even when armed.
  • Our main speaker at Saturday night’s banquet was former Presidential candidate at conservative talk show host Herman Cain. Mr. Cain has definite opinions about the state of our government, and about the motives and agendas of the left wing. As he puts it, they want nothing less than to do away with the liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution, and they realize that the main stumbling block to their plans is the Second Amendment. If we ever lose the Second Amendment, there is nothing, practically, to prevent the abolition of the rest of the Constitution.
  • Mr. Cain has definite, specific opinions of the Democratic leadership, which, in the absence of FCC regulations restricting his talk show, he was happy to share with us. I agree with him.
  • I was successful bidder on a year’s membership at Hi-Caliber Gun Range in Holly Springs, in the annual Silent Auction. I can’t wait to go take advantage of it!

I look forward to getting more involved with my local and state representatives about upcoming gun legislation. I also plan to volunteer to man the membership table at local gun shows.

Once More – Power In Numbers

If you read anything about shooting other than this blog, you know our Second Amendment rights are under attack like never before, even as more and more Supreme Court decisions confirm the self-defense right of the individual, and more and more states and localities do away with outmoded restrictions based on fear and mis-information.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that all shooters are members of the shooting rights organizations that are fighting for those rights.

The National Rifle Association is the 800 pound gorilla of the gun rights world. Say what you will about the politics and controversy, but you have to agree that when they call, they get appointments, and people listen. If you don’t like their constant stream of solicitations, do like I do – drop them in the recycle bin. But keep your membership current, or, do like I did 15 years ago. Use their extended payment plan to become a Life Member. Yes, they will continue to ask you to upgrade, but now you don’t have to do it, and you get a gun magazine every month for the rest of your life.

The Second Amendment Foundation is the group responsible for the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, as well as the Ezell ruling which will eventually overturn the Chicago gun ban. This kind of work takes money, and $15 a year is well worth it.

But don’t stop there. Tip O’Neill once said that all politics is local, and that’s true in gun rights as well. Join your state gun rights group, and any local groups in your area.

I was going to put together a list of the state gun rights groups, but I found there is a great list on the lower right of the links on the main page at The Gun Wire. Check it out. Join.

WHY JOIN GUN RIGHTS GROUPS?
or
WHY DO YOU GIVE YOUR MONEY TO LOBBYISTS?

I’m asked that all the time. Here’s my answer.

The First Amendment says

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Emphasis mine

I don’t have the time or money to go to Atlanta or Washington and talk to all the people who can take away my gun rights.

But I can join with millions of others, and put our money together, and pay them to do it for us.

It’s our right. And if the person I’m talking with respects my First Amendment right, then respecting the Second Amendment should follow.