There are two ways that Republicans who still hold power in red state legislatures could react to this month’s midterms, in which their party was roundly rebuked and gun safety emerged as a major issue in informing voters’ decisions. The first would be to see the writing on the wall and to assume the posture Democrats held for decades - keep quiet about guns and hope the status quo is good enough. The second would be to get out the bucket list.
Rep. Matt Gurtler is apparently taking the second approach - planning to bring legislation to the Georgia House that would eliminate any permitting requirement for carrying a weapon in the state:
Currently, Georgia gun owners must pay about $75 — depending on the county probate court — to register with the state and pass a background check before being issued a license to carry a handgun in public.
“As it stands now, law-abiding Georgians are taxed millions of dollars annually for exercising their God-given natural rights of self-defense,” Gurtler said. “Under the (U.S) Constitution and in accordance with our Founding Fathers, ‘shall not be infringed’ is a no-compromise statement.”
Gurtler is described as a “pariah” in the GOP caucus, and the article indicates that the chances for the bill (HB 2) are “less than slim.” But Brian Kemp just won the governorship in the state while saying he supports permitless carry, and Republicans control both the Georgia House (106-74) and Senate (35-21). I’ll be tracking this legislation once it’s filed, and scoring actions on the Georgia Report Card.