The passage of HB 60 has generated more interest, more buzz and more controversy than any other piece of legislation before state government this year.
The bill has been viewed as sweeping change in Georgia’s gun laws.
The legislation has received attention from all across the United States and views appear to be polarized.
Supporters are saying Georgia should be a model for other states when it comes to gun laws.
Detractors are saying this represents a huge step backwards for the state and urging the Governor not to sign the bill into law.
The bill passed by a 112-58 margin.
Among the most controversial processions was language regarding weapons in churches and the legality of silencers.
During debates lawmakers also considered allowing guns on college campuses with carry permits, but those provisions were nixed.
The final version basically says that church leaders must decide whether or not to allow guns at the places of worship and that silencers or suppressors may be used while hunting on private lands.
The legislation is rather voluminous, but among other things the bill does is give some discretion to local school districts to allow designated individuals to have guns on school campuses and ostensibly prohibits the seizure of guns during an emergency declaration.
Passage by both the House and Senate has triggered a statewide letter writing campaign, largely to urge Gov. Nathan Deal not to sign the bill.
The newspaper has received a lot of letters, but nearly all the letters appear to be part of an orchestrated letter writing campaign with letters being sent to newspapers throughout the state.
Here is a sampling of some of the comments we have received:
Marie Drew of Decatur writes, “Let’s show that Georgia has common sense. We support the Second Amendment, but we don’t support senseless killing made easy. I went through a very traumatic time in my life, where if I had easy access to a gun, I would definitely have murdered someone. I am a sensible person, but it would have been a moment where emotions overcome senses. Thank goodness, because of the law, I did not have that easy access. Please help prevent an emotional outburst from causing death and heartache. No one is saying people should not have the right to own a gun — only that common sense and public safety should come first.”
This came from Linda Young of Newnan: “Like the thousands of Georgians who called and wrote Governor Deal opposing the extreme guns bill, HB 60, I believe this bill moves Georgia out of the mainstream and should not be signed into law. Governor Deal must decide if he wants to allow guns in TSA lines at the country’s busiest airport, and force community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their childrens’classrooms. These are questions not to be taken lightly. I strongly support the Second Amendment, but as Georgians we are tired of the gun lobby advancing its extreme agenda at the expense of our families’ safety. As a proud gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I believe we should be favoring common-sense laws like background checks so that felons and domestic abusers can’t get guns. I’m proud to stand with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly, founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions — and both gun owners — and who are committed to finding common-sense solutions to prevent gun violence in our communities.”
Daniel Caplin, of Atlanta, wrote “Please help share my concerns with the public and our legislative bodies that the Guns Everywhere bill should be vetoed. We do not need to allow for more expansive access or exposure to weapons in our community.”
We would have included some of the comments we received in support of HB 60, but, we didn’t get any.
Nevertheless we are quite certain there is a lot of support for the legislation as well.
Obviously, this is a statewide issue and therefore it has generated interest, and passion, throughout Georgia.
We are more interested in how our community feels about the law.
We would like to hear from our readers in our county.
Send us your comments by mail, by email, comment on our website or on Facebook.
You can sent your opinions as a letter to the editor to Clayton News Daily, Editor Jim Zachary, P.O. Box 368 Jonesboro, GA 30237.
You can email Jim Zachary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to hear from you and to share your comments with our readers.