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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is an alternative to HB850. This alternative makes the issuance of a license immediate. This alternative gives citizens a venue to challenge the judges and the information they are relying on. Also, it modifies Georgia law so it conforms with the NRA's bill (HR2640).

My guiding philosophy was:

1) A woman being stalked by an ex boyfriend should not have to wait 6 months for the Probate Judge to approve her application. She needs a License immediately.

2) A new resident should get a License as quick as he can get a drivers license

3) Georgia ID’s are used in interactions with Law Enforcement, private enterprises, and with the Federal Government. Those ID’s are the de-facto standard for proving your identity.

4) We must all be equal before the law. Government employees should not be exempt from the law that applies to We, The People.

5) Need to address our system to comply with the NRAâ€s bill (HR2640) and allow people to challenge thier rejections.

6) I continued with the Probate Judge issuing the licenses. I do think an office in the Executive branch issuing office would be more appropriate and more efficient.

Any Legislator may use this bill and claim it as their own.

Here it is for your coment, criticism, and enjoyment.

Section 1

Code Section 16-11-129 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to a license to carry a pistol or revolver and temporary renewal permits, is amended by deleting section 16-11-129 in its entirety and replacing it with the following:

16-11-129

(a) The judge of the probate court of each county shall immediately issue a Georgia Firearms License to every applicant whose domicile is in that county upon payment of the required fee, submittal of application form, and presentation of valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Driver Services pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 40.

(b) The Department of Public Safety shall furnish application forms and license forms required by this Code Section. These forms shall be furnished to each judge of each probate court within the state at no cost. The application form shall be made available to the public on the internet. The forms shall be designed to elicit only the following information:

1) Name;
2) Prior names and aliases;
2) Current domicile address and domicile addresses for the past 5 years;
3) Email and telephone numbers;
3) birth date and birth location;
4) Drivers License number or Identification Card number;
5) An attestation that the applicant is not an ineligible person as specified in section (e) and that requires the signature of the applicant under penalty of perjury; and
6) Shall include in print that is identical to that used in the attestation, the penalties provided by law for submission of a false application and possession of license by a ineligible person

(c) Following issuance of the License and within 3 days, the Probate Judge shall request a search of the criminal history file, mental health file and wanted persons file of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by computer or telephone. If the search reveals reasonable grounds to believe the licensee is not eligible to retain the license, the judge may revoke such license and the Sheriff of the county, upon lawful order, shall confiscate such license. Immediately upon revocation, the judge shall notify the applicant in writing, stating the grounds for denial and informing the applicant of their rights and to grant an appeal hearing. Within 15 days of the revocation, the Probate Judge shall conduct a hearing where the Licensee can provide evidence demonstrating that they are eligible for such license or that the grounds for denial are incorrect. All hearings under this section shall be commenced and conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The probate judge shall report changes to Licensee’s eligibility to the Georgia Crime Information Center within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation within 5 days.

(d) If, at any time during the period for which the license was issued, the judge of the probate court of the county in which the license was issued shall learn or have brought to his or her attention in any manner any reasonable ground to believe the licensee is not eligible to retain the license, the judge may, after notice and hearing, revoke the license of the person upon adjudication of falsification of application, mental incompetency, chronic alcohol or narcotic usage, conviction of any felony or forcible misdemeanor, or ineligibility as specified in section (e) All hearings under this section shall be commenced and conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The probate judge shall report changes to Licensee’s eligibility to the Georgia Crime Information Center within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation within 5 days.

(e) No license shall be possessed by:

(1) Any person who is not a citizen of the United States or who has renounced their United States citizenship.

(2) Any person under 18 years of age;

(3) Any person who is a fugitive from justice or against whom proceedings are pending for any forcible felony, or forcible misdemeanor, including domestic violence, until such time as the proceedings are adjudicated;

(4) Any person who has been convicted of a forcible felony or a felony offense arising out the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug by a court of this state or any other state; or by a court of the United States including its territories, possessions, and dominions and has not been pardoned for such felony by the President of the United States, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the person or agency empowered to grant pardons under the constitution or laws of such state

(5) Any person who has been convicted of a forcible misdemeanor or a misdemeanor offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith for at least five years

(6) Any person that has been adjudicated as a mental defective

(7) Any person that has been adjudicated to be a credible threat to the physical safety of others or themselves.

(8) Any person has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions

(f) A person who intentionally submits a false application commits a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not more than 12 months.

(g) A person who alters or counterfeits such a license card commits a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than one nor more than five years.

(h) A person who knowingly possesses a license that has been revoked commits a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not more than 12 months.

(i) A person who is ineligible for a license per Code Section 16-11-129 (e) and possesses a license on or about their person commits a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than one year nor more than five years.

(j) The term of the license shall be the lifetime of the applicant. The fees for Licenses shall be:

Lifetime License = $65
Replacement License = $35
Change of Address = $35

The fees for active duty military personnel and any peace officer who is employed by the State of Georgia or any political subdivision thereof shall be waived.

(l) Licenses issued as prescribed in this Code section shall be printed on durable but lightweight card stock, and the completed card shall be laminated in plastic to improve its wearing qualities and to inhibit alterations. Measurements shall be 3 1/4 inches long, and 2 1/4 inches wide. Each shall be serially numbered within the county of issuance and shall bear the full name, residential address, birth date, and a clear print of the right index finger of the licensee. If the right index fingerprint cannot be secured for any reason, the print of another finger may be used but such print shall be marked to identify the finger from which the print is taken. The license shall show the date of issuance, the expiration date, and the probate court in which issued and shall be signed by the licensee and bear the signature or facsimile thereof of the judge. The seal of the court shall be placed on the face before the license is laminated. The reverse side of the license shall have imprinted thereon in its entirety Code Section 16-11-127.


Section 2

Code Section 16-11-130 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to exemptions provided to specific public employees is amended by deleting section 16-11-130 in its entirety and replacing it with the following:

16-11-130

(a) The judge of the probate court of each county shall conduct hearings to provide relief from the disabilities imposed by subsection (d)(4) and (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code and Code section 16-11-129 (e). Relief may be granted if the person's record and reputation are such that the person will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.
(b) All hearings under this section shall be commenced and conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." The probate judge shall report changes to Licensee’s eligibility to the Georgia Crime Information Center within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation within 5 days.

(c) The application fee for such relief shall be $2,000. The required content of the application form shall be determined by the Probate Judge.
 

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5) Any person who has been convicted of a forcible misdemeanor or a misdemeanor offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug and has not been free of all restraint or supervision in connection therewith for at least five years
Many, if not most of you, will probably disagree with me on this, but I do not think that a misdemeanor drug charge should result in the loss of someone's second amendment rights. Personally, I even have my doubts as to if any non-violent offense at all should be grounds to deny issuance.

I am a firm believer that the so-called "war on drugs" is a horrendous waste of money and resources. I think that for "hard" drugs, such as cocaine, heroine, meth, pcp and the like, we should offer state paid rehabilitation for users and hard time for sellers with the amount possessed determining which category the offender fell into. Locking up drug users just never made any sense to me, unless of course they were also committing collateral offenses.

As to non-harmful (or at the very least far less harmful than our currently accepted drugs such as tobacco and alcohol) drugs such as marijuana, hash, and mushrooms, I believe they should be decriminalized and used as another form of government revenue while still being regulated much the same as alcohol.

As to your proposal to have licenses issued immediately with background checks taking place after issuance and the sherriff's office having to be involved if a denial takes place, I think this would jeapordize Georgia's reciprocity agreements with other states. Until a national law is passed guaranteeing reciprocity, Georgia has to show the other states that currently honor our licenses that due diligence is taking place in ensuring that undesireables do not obtain them. That being said, I would argue for a clearly stated timeline that must be followed by the county, with a temporary license being automatically issued at the time of application that has a 60 day lifespan and does not allow bypassing of national background checks for firearms purchases. If at the end of 60 days a permanent license had not been issued, or a valid reason given for denial of license based on statute, then the applicant would be entitled to an automatic issuance of a permanent license. If after 60 days this automatically issued license was found to be errant, then the county would have to absorb the costs of having a sherriff immediately contact the applicant to collect said license and would have to refund all fees paid by the applicant. Essentially, this would put the onus on the county to control expenditures by being efficient in the issuance of licenses as they would be hit with both the cost of reclaiming an automatically issued license and they would lose the otherwise forfeited licensing fees paid by a non-eligible applicant.

I also agree with your assertion that an executive branch office of government should be responsible for issuing licenses. If it were consolidated with the county sherriff's office, and failure to follow procedure resulted in automatic issuances and possible collections later on, then the cost would be born out of the department responsible for carrying out the statute.

Otherwise I like what you have there.
 

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GAGunOwner said:
The fees for active duty military personnel and any peace officer who is employed by the State of Georgia or any political subdivision thereof shall be waived.
I'd strike "active duty" and replace it with "military personel of the state or the United States."

I'd also add federal LEOs to the list too.
I think I'd go even further..."military personel of the state or the United States; Honorably discharged and/or retired veterans."
A little bennie for serving, just like the drivers license. :)
 

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Won't fly without fingerprints on at least the initial license application because of the loss of reciprocity with so many other states. I am not saying I agree, but this comes first hand, from conversations with Georgia legislators.
 

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Why not have the court run the instacheck at the time of application and eliminate the problems with checks coming back denied. Makes the bill shorter and keeps our eligibility for using the GFL when buying handguns. Dealers can run a check on the spot why can't a court clerk?
 

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Thorsen said:
I think...we should offer state paid rehabilitation for users.
I have conceded that it's not the governments place to dictate what someone puts in their body. I am adamantly opposed to using taxpayers money to help those who made poor choices in this area.

I will agree that there should be a timeframe that would disqualify a person but that it shouldn't be a strike against them for life. I think the crimes that should be considered for denial of a GFL should be ones that show a blatant disregard for the safety of others.
 

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U.S. Citizen?

I think that licenses should be available to lawful permanent residents (so-called "green card" holders), not just citizens. In fact, I'd really like to see licenses available for any person who regularly visits here long-term, as in months at a time, on a visa. So long as they speak English. Anybody who doesn't understand the common language of this country doesn't need to be carrying a gun in public. Too much risk of a shooting over a misunderstanding or miscommuniciation.
 

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Gunsmoker, that would disarm a lot of people who were born here.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Gunsmoker, that would disarm a lot of people who were born here.
Maybe he thought the language restriction should only apply to non-citizens.

One would have to have a decent grasp of English to properly complete the app anyway.

Are non-citizens going to show up at all in a NICS check?
 

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Why should the applicant have a decent grasp of english when probate clerks, judges, State DPS officials, trial judges, appelate judges and (soon to be demonstrated) supreme court judges don't?

Not trying to cause a problem, just askin'
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for the comments. They are helpful, useful and thought provoking. I was hoping this thread would generate discussion, which I hoped would sharpen our focus and position statements for when we testify at the General Assembly on future bills.

In the following, I try to explain my rationale and provide a counter point to your excellent points.

Non-Citizens and Permanent Residents

Non-Citizens and Permanent Residents have an advantage over Citizens since they have no history in the US that would be posted in NCIS. By requiring Licensees to be citizens, the applicant will have lived in the US for a sizable period of time. This should enable US Law Enforcement to catch the bad apples.

Just like we reserve voting and other benefits to Americans, we should also reserve the right to bear arms to Americans. This is our country and will be theirs once they swear loyalty to America and forsake their foreign loyalty/nationality.

BTW - did you notice that judgments of foreign courts are NOT considered? Only judgments of US Courts count. My rationale was that that many foreign courts lack basic civil rights. If our government denies an American their human right of self defense, it must do so consistent with OUR rules, not mexico's, iran's, or france's

Instacheck Prior To Issuance

Based on the current lawless behavior of the Probate Judges and apparent absence of a working knowledge of the English language, I don't trust them to do the check immediately, treat Georgians fairly or follow the law. In this system, a person walks in with a check, drivers license and application and then leaves with a license. The probate judge then can play their games after issuance. If the NICS is down, that isn't the problem of the citizen. If the lady who knows the phone number is in the bathroom, that isn't the problem of the citizen. If the judge doesn't like guns, that isn't the problem of the citizen. The citizen is treated an innocent until proven guilty. Under our current licensing system, we are guilty until the judge decides we are innocent; that is unAmerican.

Reciprocity and Fingerprints

I'll start researching whether we lose reciprocity without fingerprints when I return from vacation. I have noticed a trend of states that provide for reciprocity based on mutual recognition .... if you recognize ours, we'll recognize yours.

The fingerprinting is an 20th Century method of identification. With the extensive databases that the government maintains and the photograhic ID, the government can ID anyone, without fingerprints. This was the point of NCIS; use technology to identify criminals and stop them from buying guns.

My goal was to make the Licensing System equivalent to that of buying a gun. If you can buy a gun with a drivers license, then that ID should be good enough to carry it.
By the way, I bet the fingerprinting requirement was a way to discourage Georgians from applying. It adds expense to getting license and is sort of mysterious science. If you have any "history", you would hesitate to give up your prints.

As a member of GCO, I want us to lead in making getting a license easier, faster, and cheaper in Georgia and the US. No more innocent till proven gun owner. If other states don't recognize ours, then we won't recognize theirs. But at least in Georgia, we will be free and treat our citizens with respect. I don't want our laws driven by a desire to make NY Governor Spitzer happy.

Federal LEO and Non-Active Duty Military

Free licenses to the ATF, IRS and members of UN Security? No F'in way. Let their organizations pay for it.

Every free license means that the costs go up for those who pay, which is us. We need to keep the price down low so that every Georgian can afford a license.

I selected active Georgia Law Enforcement for several reasons:
1) we pay their salaries and expenses so in the end we would pay for these licenses
2) they are charged with enforcing the carry laws, hence we want to encourage them to have licenses and carry like the rest of us. This would increase their knowledge of the law and have them join our ranks.
3) I think under Georgia law they are already allowed to carry without a license since they are POST certified. Making the LIFETIME license free, removes a hurdle for them to get one, especially those close to retirement.

I removed all of the exemptions for government employees. The rules should apply to everyone, not just the government elites. Remember, we the people are in charge. Government employees like Judges, Cops, and Politicians work for us.

I selected active duty Military because they are moved around from base to base often at the whim of the Defense Department and their branch of service. I wanted to reduce the cost of their relocation to Georgia.

Reserve and Guard units usually are not required to move to specific areas. Rather they locate in an area for personal reasons and then join the local unit. Hence, they are in Georgia by choice and will likely be here for a long time.

License Used For Gun Buys

The check for buying a gun is free. Because of ATF harassment of gun dealers, most are running the checks even if you have a License. The manager of Dicks told me that their policy is to always run the check. There is a zero tolerance policy. There are several reasons for this ..... one consistent process for their employees to follow, which minimizes mistakes and training time ..... to prove to the ATF that they are strictly adhering to the rules, which should protect them from suits and ATF harassment.

After seeing the impact of the last time we tried to maintain the use of the license to buy a gun, I don't want to tie the issues together anymore. I think the ATF is using this "benefit" to limit what we can do in Georgia in regard to carry licenses.

Fees

I wasn't sure how high they should be. Maybe we should use the same rate schedule as driver's licenses:

Driver License = $35
Address Change = Once free, thereafter $35

I visualized the Judges running another check each time AFTER issuance, so they will have those costs to cover. Plus, we got to fund the Sheriff and Court costs for folks disputing rejections.

Drug Convictions

Not all Drug users are violent criminals but a sizable portion of violent criminals have drug convictions. Under my scheme, minor drug convictions are forgotten after 5 years. If one can stay drug free for 5 years, then they are most likely not going to get back involved in drugs. Currently someone with a minor drug conviction can’t get a license, ever.

Also, I’ve include a procedure where people can apply to get their record cleared, even if they are convicted of felonies. That is something that doesn’t exist today, which is unfair. Why should someone be denied a right for an action 20 years ago and that they paid their dues to society? Everyone deserves a second chance.
 

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GAGunOwner said:
I'd like to see Georgia recognize the carry licenses of every state/territory in the Union.
I will agree with this. Why should we punish Marylanders who are fortunate enough to get a permit because their government has recto-cranial syndrome?
 

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wsweeks2 said:
GAGunOwner said:
I'd like to see Georgia recognize the carry licenses of every state/territory in the Union.
I will agree with this. Why should we punish Marylanders who are fortunate enough to get a permit because their government has recto-cranial syndrome?
Because they are the ones that elected their RCS suffering government.
 
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