This Girl is on FIRE!

This Girl is on FIRE!

I have been tremendously busy lately. And all fired up. There have been many changes in the last couple of weeks. The first being I have discontinued my association with a certain purple-themed women’s shooting organization. Long story short, my time with them showed me that the organization’s founder was not someone I was comfortable being affiliated with for numerous reasons. That being the case, I also could not, in good conscience, encourage anyone else to be a part of her organization. I had determined I would be leaving back in December and such decision was consistently reinforced from that time until I left on April 17th.

I spent the last few months biding my time, trying to figure out a solution or find an alternative. Disbanding my chapter was not an option for me, as I had made a commitment to my ladies. This was a group which I built all on my own and I’d worked hard to develop it. I spent a lot of time and my personal money and throwing it away wasn’t a consideration for me.

God provides. I finally discovered a wonderful alternative. I had to sniff it out and hunt it down like a dog but I found it. I’ll share more about that later when the time is right. It’s a brand new organization and we’re working hard to get everything rolling. What I love about it is that it’s being built with integrity and a greater purpose. I’m so happy to be a part of it and I’ll be sharing more soon. But suffice to say, I have been working my tail off, happily.

Another wonderful thing that has happened is that HB 60, the Safe Carry Protection Act, was signed last week! I was invited to the signing but prior commitments kept me from going. It would have been fun to be there but the important thing is that come July 1, Georgia will be a much safer place to live.

And, speaking of a safer Georgia, I’ve been sitting on some other information for months that can finally be shared. Another bill, HB 826, was signed into law yesterday. While on the surface this bill makes great strides to remove the silly “zero-tolerance” policies in schools which have ended up in expulsion for kids with items such as seat belt cutters in their car on school campus, it does far more than most understand. This bill also decriminalizes campus carry.

Yes, you read correctly. Come July 1, campus carry will now be decriminalized for those with a valid Georgia Weapons License. Understand that it’s been kept quiet for obvious reasons but also please know that nothing was hidden. The bill has always been available for anyone’s survey and study as all bills are. Nothing was hidden or snuck in at the 11th hour. It passed the House unanimously and the Senate with all but two votes in the affirmative. I and others who were familiar with this bill have been encouraged to remain quiet about it though, as any extra attention to it could have derailed the bill in its entirety.

While the language is a bit confusing, I encourage you to read it. I would also encourage common sense and good judgment come July 1. Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should and we should all strive to be responsible citizens and balance rights with responsibility. Walking onto a college campus open carrying on July 1 isn’t something I would advise and would outright discourage. The two laws, HB 60 and HB 826 will need to be merged when writing the new code sections and there will inevitably be test cases to establish case law, so be smart here, I plead of you.

Here is the link to the full text of the bill.  

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And the Votes Are In

The Georgia Senate finally pulled out HB 60 (the new HB 875) for a vote. Those guys are some tricky bastards. They put in an amendment for hunting suppressors, knowing the House will hate that because they are beholden to the Department of Natural Resources and the DNR hates it. Because, you know, poaching is apparently a massive and widespread problem in Georgia. Hmmm.

A second amendment that was added was church opt-in. This one was a “blink and miss it” one that was snuck it by perhaps the quickest “voice vote” in Georgia history. Cagle wanted it that way. This way, it’s nearly impossible to know who voted for it and he can take the heat for it. He doesn’t care, he has no challenger in this election.

The problem with church opt-in is that it’s a pile of crap. Very few churches will make the move to opt-in, preferring to avoid the topic altogether. The Senate knows this, so they think they can pat us on the head and send us on our merry way and then, proud of their “sweeping” gun bill and their “stand for the Second Amendment” in an election year, they will fail to re-address any gun rights for years. Um, no. You see, I already bought a bunch of crap from the legislature LAST session when SB101 died and I’m not in the market for any more.

It seems most likely that HB60 will end up in Conference Committee now, with three senators and three representatives left to make a deal for both chambers to pass through. This is a risk to be sure, as it could very well die in committee but I’m willing to take that risk, as if it does die, then there’s no gun bill this year. People may get voted out. And then we can come back at it next year. Not exactly what I’d like, but I’d prefer it to having a bad bill shoved down my throat with no likely opportunity to come back to it for a long time. And, if we have to re-address it next year, the hope is that we have a new governor (David Pennington, please!) who doesn’t do his damnedest to kill gun bills behind the scenes and some fresh folks in the legislature.

I’m hoping that in conference committee that the house gives on the hunting suppressor language and the senate gives up church opt-in. That would actually be a win-win for the people of Georgia. Most states already allow suppressors for hunting and most states also respect the private property rights of churches. Georgia needs to get with it.