Proposed Constitutional Carry law: What it means for Middle Georgia
A proposed law aims to eliminate the need for a Weapons Carry License in Georgia.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Howard Reed has been a gun owner for more than 40 years. He says his love for collecting guns motivated him to open a gun store in Macon 20 years ago.
As someone who handles guns every day, he’s hoping it becomes simpler for others, too.
“I would say in a heartbeat that if it was possible for it to become easier for people to obtain their personal protection, I would be all for it,” Reed said.
Governor Brian Kemp expressed his support Wednesday for a proposed law called “Constitutional Carry.” The bill was first introduced to the Georgia House of Representatives last February. After a few amendments during the last session, the creators are ready to present it again this legislative session.
“We realize that ensuring public safety does not just come from state government,” Governor Kemp explained. “Building a safer, stronger Georgia starts with hard working Georgians having the ability to protect themselves and their family.”
The bill aims to allow Georgians to carry a firearm without having to file for a Weapons Carry License first. Right now, Georgians can carry a concealed weapon, but they must apply for a license through their county’s probate court. Applicants are then fingerprinted and must pass a criminal background check. To maintain the license, the average fee is about $75.
Reed hopes that if the bill becomes law, it will make it more difficult for criminals trying to choose a target.
“Maybe it would be more of a deterrence for the criminals just knowing that more individuals walking around may have personal protection on them and they may not know who’s necessarily easy prey,” he said.
If the new law passes, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office hopes it does not make it easier for guns to fall into the wrong hands.
“I think it would probably cause an increase in gun crimes,” Colonel Henderson Carswell said. “Some people choose to carry whether they have a license or not and often times it’s the reason that they’re possessing the firearm that caused the problem in the first place.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s office says it’s always ready to protect and serve the people of Macon-Bibb.
The Georgia legislative session will begin on Monday, January 10 and end on March 31.