Unintended Consequences of Georgia’s New “Guns Everywhere” Law

Governor Deal has signed into law the aptly-named “guns everywhere law” that increases the number of places in the State that guns will be allowed. Those places include churches (though the church must “opt in,” which may make for an exciting deacon/vestry meeting at a church near you), bars, schools, and even certain places within airports. CNN reports:

The bill, which easily navigated the state Legislature – by a 112-58 vote in the House and a 37-18 tally in the Senate – also earned the support of Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, the grandson of ex-President Jimmy Carter and a 2014 gubernatorial candidate.

Even in old western movies, patrons were required to check their guns when entering saloons. Democratic candidate Jason Carter, grandson of former president Jimmy Carter, voted for this law. Though he claims that he helped to make it better than it was.

The bill would be more aptly named the “crimes everywhere” law. By allowing more guns in more places, the governor and general assembly have created potential crimes and enhancements in more places. Many crimes become more severe merely because firearms are around when the crime takes place. In the Southern District of Georgia (since Georgia was part of the losing side of the civil war, Federal law applies here), even minor drug charges tend to go Federal if a firearm is present during the offense. On the state side, when tensions rise, potential defendants would be much better off if a gun weren’t available. A terroristic threat or a simple assault can become aggravated assault simply by grabbing a gun. And when tensions rise among folks who are drinking alcohol, guns are more likely to be used. Even routine encounters between citizens and law enforcement become more intense when law enforcement discover that a gun is present. Guns everywhere will lead to searches everywhere, as law enforcement are entitled to be more intense for purposes of “officer safety” when weapons are present. Even the provision allowing guns in certain parts of the airport will spell disaster. I can’t count the number of people I’ve represented who forgot that they had a gun in their handbag under the old regime. By allowing guns in some parts of the airport and not others, there is an increased likelihood that innocent people will inadvertently take guns into the TSA line. Bad things happen to people when they take guns into the TSA line (see my note above regarding’s Georgia’s loss in the civil war).

The gun lobby should have been careful what they wished for. If the goal was to de-criminalize gun possession, their new law may well (pun alert) backfire as more people find themselves charged with gun-related crimes where no gun charge would otherwise have been brought.

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