Political Notes – Senate has gun bill on calendar

[private]The Georgia Senate is scheduled to vote on a firearms bill Tuesday, HB 1060, that would make some minor revisions to the state’s gun carry law.

The bill presents one of the final opportunities this session for lawmakers to make the changes to the campus carry bill that have been requested by Gov. Nathan Deal. If those changes are going to be made, this would appear to be the vehicle for it.

According to House Speaker David Ralston, however, the leadership isn’t inclined to go along with Deal on the campus carry issue.

“If you start trying to pick at the threads of some of these things, sometimes you can end up gutting the entire intent of the law, and I’m not going to ask this House of Representatives to do that,” Ralston said in an interview with WABE radio.

As the Senate session got underway Tuesday, Republican senators voted 33-14 to engross HB 1060, which means it cannot be amended when it comes up for debate later in the day.

If Ralston’s assessment is accurate, then Deal will be left with the version of the campus carry bill, HB 859, that has already been passed by the House and Senate. He’ll either have to sign it, without the changes he requested, or veto it.

And down in Macon . . .

If Deal does sign HB 859 into law, it could have an impact on Macon’s two airports, as reported by the Macon Telegraph:

State law currently allows firearms to be carried as far as security checkpoints at all Georgia airports, but the pending campus-carry bill may lift a restriction on another area at the Macon Downtown Airport.

Middle Georgia State University leases space there.

“We’re waiting to see what happens with the campus carry law currently being discussed at the state level, but based on the existing law, individuals are not allowed to carry weapons on the portion of airport property in the possession of/used by the university,” Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said in an email. “Attorney General Sam Olens indicated license holders cannot carry a weapon on school property in 2014. However, if the new campus carry bill passes, that would likely change.”

More statements religious liberty

The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) has added its voice to those who are urging Deal to veto the “religious liberty” bill (HB 757).

“We are fundamentally against any form of discrimination, not only when it comes to children and their education, but also in the overall daily interactions as we go about living our lives,” said GAE President Sid Chapman.

“And now that HB 757, the so-called ‘Religious Liberty’ bill has passed, we resolutely join the chorus of voices calling for Gov. Deal to assert his veto power to kill this ill-considered legislation,” Chapman said.

Sen. Greg Kirk (R-Americus), one of the authors of HB 757, will offer a counterpoint to that argument Tuesday – he’s scheduled a news conference for 12:30 p.m.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: campus carry , David Ralston , Nathan Deal , religious liberty