Last month the Georgia legislature, House and Senate, passed House Bill 89 and sent it to Governor Sonny Perdue (R) for his signature. This legislation makes significant and much-needed improvements to Georgia's Right to Carry laws. Our legislators have worked hard for the citizens of Georgia in framing and passing this legislation, which allows lawfully-licensed gun permit holders to possess a locked firearm in any private motor vehicle while on a public parking lot and other establishments, and permits them to carry their firearms for self and family protection in state parks, recreational and wildlife management areas, restaurants, etc.
Thousands of Georgians are very worried that the Governor will not sign this important bill HB-89 because of the pressure being applied by, among several groups of usual suspects, the big business community, which claims that private property rights supersede the right to self and family protection, the same inalienable right to life and liberty enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
Governor Perdue needs to sign this important piece of legislation which expires soon!
As the laws now stands, what is the use of paying fees, getting fingerprinted, etc., to obtain a concealed firearm permit, if you, as a lawful citizen, are unable to carry it with you when you take your family out to restaurants or a family picnic in our state parks?
And then you can not even leave it locked in your parked car in public parking lots and many other private businesses, when you walk next door to transact a public or private business!
What is the use of having this permit, undergo background checks, etc., to protect yourself and your family, when the law, as it now stands eviscerates itself, preventing family & self protection when it is most needed? It has been shown that expansion of concealed carry laws reduce crime in those states that have enacted them. Criminals are simply afraid that someone in the public may be armed, and they do no want to be shot in the commission of crime.
In Florida the Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation were determined to derail Florida's HB503, a bill protecting Floridians' right to keep a firearm in their vehicle for personal protection, and even threatened the Legislature and the Governor with a lawsuit. The Florida legislature and the Governor were not intimidated.
The legislators passed the bill, and Governor Charlie Crist (R) signed it into law. They stood up for law-abiding gun owners and the sacred right to self-defense against the big business bullies that were trying to eliminate them. Shame on Disney, Publix, Walmart, and other corporate giants that in a poor setting of priorities placed profits ahead of life and the right to self and family protection.
There are lessons to be learned here. Let us hope Governor Perdue is not intimidated by the big business bullies and does what is right for the law-abiding citizens of our state. Call his office today 404-656-1776; big business is already doing so!
Miguel A. Faria MD
Dr. Faria is the author of Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2001)