‘Guntopia’ in Georgia – The NRA wants to make it nationwide

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False IdolsWhile Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona was using her pen to veto several gun bills from the gun worshipers and fetishists, including the annual guns in public buildings bill,  her Tea-Publican counterpart Governor Nathan Deal was signing the “guns everywhere” bill wish list of the NRA for a Second Amendment Utopia —  a “Guntopia” if you will — in the state of Georgia.

I would say that the gun worshipers and fetishists should pack up their things and move to Georgia Guntopia, but the NRA has a more sinister plan. These so-called “small government conservatives” who usually espouse “states’ rights” want a federal law for reciprocity that would lead to a race to the bottom — Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” law would become the lowest common standard for gun laws nationwide.

The Washington Post reported, What Georgia’s expansive new pro-gun law does:

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed into law Wednesday a pro-gun package that groups on both sides of the gun control debate describe as exceptional.

The National Rifle Association calls it ”the most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history.” Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by shooting victim and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), calls it ”the most extreme gun bill in America.”

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Here’s (some of) what it does, according to an end-of-session analysis by the nonpartisan state Senate Research Office, obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

  • First, broadly speaking, the new law allows people with a license to carry a gun in the following locations:
    • Bars and associated parking facilities
    • Government buildings (except where entry is typically screened during business hours by security personnel)
    • Places of worship (only with express approval)
    • School safety zones, school functions or on school-provided transportation (again, only with approval from the appropriate school official).
  • The bill expands the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, a version of which rose to prominence in the legal debate over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Before, you couldn’t invoke that defense — which provides immunity from prosecution — if you used a banned firearm in self-defense. Now, you can: “this bill provides that a person will be immune from prosecution in using deadly force in self-defense or defense of others or property even if the person utilizes a weapon in violation of [the Georgia Firearms and Weapons Act],” the report finds.
  • Firearms dealers no longer need to maintain records of sales and purchases for state purposes. (Federal record-keeping  requirements still apply, where applicable.)
  • The governor loses his authority to suspend or limit the carrying or sale of guns.
  • Banning or restricting lawful firearm possession in public housing is now illegal.
  • As the AJC reported, the new law expands the pre-emption of local laws. Before, cities could not regulate “gun shows and dealers through zoning or by ordinance,” AJC’s Kristina Torres reported. Now, that applies to all weapons.
  • Lamar Norton, head of the Georgia Municipal Association, said the package “would impose unnecessary costs on Georgia’s cities and opens them and other local governments up to frivolous litigation.”
  • The fingerprinting requirement for license renewals is now removed.
  • No one is allowed to maintain a database of information on license holders that spans multiple jurisdictions.

The NRA is holding its annual convention this weekend and is feeling emboldened by its unparalleled success in Georgia. NRA seeks universal gun law at meeting:

The nation’s largest gun-rights group, which officially opens its meeting of about 70,000 people Friday in Indianapolis, wants Congress to require that concealed weapons permits issued in one state be recognized everywhere, even when the local requirements differ. Advocates say the effort would eliminate a patchwork of state-specific regulations that lead to carriers unwittingly violating the law when traveling.

“Right now it takes some legal research to find out where you are or are not legal depending on where you are,” said Guy Relford, an attorney who has sued communities for violating an Indiana law that bars local gun regulation. “I don’t think that’s right.”

Opponents fear the measure would allow more lenient gun regulations to trump stricter ones when permit holders travel across state lines.

It’s a race to the bottom,” said Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s taking the lowest standards.”

The push for reciprocity comes as the gun rights lobby is arguably stronger than ever before, with more than 5 million dues-paying members.

The NRA has successfully defeated numerous gun-control efforts in recent years, even after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. With midterm elections looming, the organization’s legislative wish list likely will be somewhat more modest than usual this year.

The “reciprocity” effort on state concealed carry laws has strong support from Senate Republicans but narrowly missed being amended into last year’s proposed expansion of gun sale background checks. Still, it faces long odds in Washington because Democrats control the Senate and White House.

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NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam noted that gun laws vary widely, with some states requiring strict background checks and a handful not even requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

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Much like drivers are required to follow the traffic laws of the states they’re in, Arulanandam says the legislation the NRA is seeking would ensure gun permit holders abide by the laws of states they’re visiting.

But Malte counters reciprocity could ultimately leave states “powerless” to stop even violent individuals who cross the state line with weapons.

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Led by Obama, gun-control advocates called for background checks for all gun purchasers and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines following the Sandy Hook shootings. But a divided Congress denied the calls for change.

Republicans could pass some sort of reciprocity bill next year if they retake the Senate. However, Obama would almost certainly veto it, and the votes likely wouldn’t be there to override the veto.

An Associated Press-GfK poll in December found 52 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws, 31 percent wanted them left as they are and [only] 15 percent said they should be loosened.

Besides reciprocity, the organization also is seeking the right to carry legally owned guns on college campuses, which is prohibited in 27 states and the District of Columbia. NRA members have been vocally opposed to the appointment of Supreme Court justices deemed as sympathetic to gun control and have spoken out against an international treaty aimed at stemming the illegal weapons trade because they fear it could restrict civilian gun ownership.

Next thing you know, they will want the right to legally marry their fetish firearms. This country has gone insane.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.