Ever wonder why Georgia uses Probate Judges to issue the licenses? The history of the gun laws in Georgia is very clear. The white ruling elite was and is fearful of armed Black Georgians. They created a system that would guarantee Blacks were disarmed and that would have the appearance of being non-discriminatory. After the Civil War, the white ruling elite desired to create an attractive investment climate for Northern money. In order to do that, they created myths and illusions to hide the true extent of racial prejudice in Georgia. Thus white ruling elite couldnâ€™t directly deny Blacks their rights, they needed to hide their intentions so that the Northern investors wouldn't object. To deny Blacks the right to vote, the law was changed in 1908 to require that voters be a) of good character and able to pass a test on citizenship, (b) be able to read and write provisions of the U.S. or Georgia constitutions, or (c) own at least 40 acres of land or $500 in property. However, any Georgian who had fought in any war from the American Revolution through the Spanish-American War was exempted from these additional qualifications. More importantly, any Georgian descended from a veteran of any of these wars also was exempted. Because by 1908, most white Georgia males were grandsons of Confederate veterans, this exemption became known as the "grandfather clause." Essentially, the qualifications of good character, citizenship knowledge, literacy, and property ownership applied only to blacks wanting to register to vote. Since most Blacks at that time were former slaves and poor tenant farmers, the literacy and property ownership requirement eliminated them from the voter rolls. The good character clause eliminated educated and wealthy Blacks. Employing that same deception in two years late in 1910, Georgia enacted the law that requires a license issued by Probate Judge (fka Ordinary) in order to have or carry a firearm. The qualifications and intent was similar to those that disenfranchised Blacks two years earlier. Applicants had to be: a) at least eighteen years old or over b) give a bond payable to the Governor of the State in the sum of one hundred dollars, and c) a fee of fifty cents. The one hundred dollar bond was 6 months worth of earning for blacks of that period and is equivalent to $2,000 in todayâ€™s money. In the unlikely event a black man could post the bond, the Ordinary, who was always white since blacks could not hold office, could be counted on to deny the application, especially since only whites could vote at this time. By using the judicial branch for their discriminatory policy, Blacks were unable to challenge the denials. This legacy of Jim Crow and the Black Codes still stains our state. None of us are free until all vestiges of Jim Crow are erased from our laws.