Thoughts on HB 89 and last night

The Senate last night was cruising towards completing the calendar of bills when the roof fell in. The NRA showed up outside the Senate Chamber about 9pm literally demanding that the body vote on the gun bill even after the Senate had voted not to take it up earlier in the day.

Cagle told them that he would adjourn rather than take it up. They then said that they would have one of their Senate puppets ask for a roll call vote to adjourn and use that vote as the Senate score card on each Senator supporting gun rights. The Republican Senators stopped the session and went into a private meeting to discuss several options:

– There could be a recorded vote to adjourn if someone asked for it, something that’s never been done in the Senate. JB Powell from East Georgia turned out to be the Judas of the NRA and took their pieces of silver and objected to adjournment. I hear that Powell voted against the budget because of the Senate not taking up HB 89.

– The Senate could push on all night if someone objected to adjournment as it would not count as another day or it could adjourn as always on a voice vote.

In the meeting, nearly half the caucus raised their hands that they would not vote for HB 89 under the circumstances being faced…a demand that the Senate surrender its independence and dance to the tune of the NRA or else. Even some of the staunchest supporters of the bill said they would vote no at that point. One Senator told the group that if it did not exercise its independence and integrity, it would never be free of any powerful group again. The idea that the NRA would be so bold as to come and demand that the Senate vote on something that had already been passed over infuriated many of the Senators.

The group then went back out to the chamber and took up one more bill and then took the last course of action, using the traditional adjournment motion and voice vote.

It was a night like none have seen in the General Assembly. But in the end, the Senate maintained its independence and integrity and stood tall in the face of threats and intimidation.


  1. Holly says:

    In light of this, can we assume Erick will be recanting the earlier statement that the senator who voted against the budget deserves an award?

  2. Doug Deal says:

    It is long past the time that second amendment rights supporters should abandon the NRA. Tactics like these will only result in more bans, not less.

    If I did not know any better, I would suspect that gun prohibition, and not abject stupidity, was their true motivation.

  3. ToddH says:

    A part of the 2nd Amendment is a justification for the use of force to defend private property. This bill favored by the NRA is an infringement upon the rights of citizens to decide what is and what isn’t allowed on their own private property. Like someone said before it was more about being pro-gun than about being pro-2nd Amendment.

    The NRAs tactics are going to alienate many of their supporters here in Georgia by acting high and mighty.

  4. Actually if you look at 4/9/02 there were two separate adjournment motions with recorded votes that failed. They were taking up HB 1667 which reapportioned Senate Districts after the initial ones failed to get pre-cleared. It even appears that the final passage vote was done with a voice vote or something.

    Weird! But yeah, the point is Senate history isn’t some sort of BC (Before Cagle) and AT (After Taylor). These things might be rare but that doesn’t mean they’ve never happened.

    I only looked at ’01-’02 session because that’s when I worked there (’02) and I thought I remembered these votes taking place.

  5. jsm says:

    “The NRAs tactics are going to alienate many of their supporters here in Georgia by acting high and mighty.”

    I have been utterly amazed how many people don’t understand what this is about and call talk radio to support this bill. It might not have as many opponents in the general public as we think it does.

  6. Doug Deal says:

    Chris is right,

    How many of those callers are just NRA shills anyway. The left does it all the time, it is not beyond the means of right leaning folk as well.

  7. jsm says:

    You’re right, Chris. I was just caught off guard that no one who called in opposed the bill, even though the host, a conservative business owner, argued against it.

    After listening for over an hour and almost blowing a gasket, I finally had to take a break from work and call to correct those who said the clause “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” in the 2nd amendment meant that an employer could not disallow his employees bringing guns on his property.

    Many gun rights supporters don’t understand that a person’s right to change jobs means that his right to bear arms is not infringed by an employer who does not allow carrying on his property.

  8. Rick Day says:

    Feel that leash yank from the devil, Senators? Did it feel goood? Kink-key!

    The NRA is not dumb. The NRA knows that the Republican party, in which they have invested millions and decades of support, is on the wane.

    The NRA understands that soon they, like the Republican party will have the same politcal muscle as, oh, the Confederate States did in 1866.

    Which would be…zero. Desperation in the singles bars….

  9. R.E.M. says:

    The truth of the matter is it was all bad timing. Each time the gun bill came up, some nut goes out and shoots someone or in lastnights case, 32 people. It was certainly not a good time to pass a bill like this and my hat is off to the LT GOV for standing up for the caucus and taking one on the chin from the NRA. Other than that, if you want to have your gun in your car just follow the laws already in place and carry your gun in the glove compartment and don’t tell anyone! It’s as simple as that.

  10. Chris says:

    HB89 was a good bill
    SB43 was not.

    The fact that the NRA saw fit to kill a good bill by gluing a bad bill to it, just goes to show they no longer represent the interests of gun-owners – just lobbyists and fat cats in DC.

    A pox on their house.

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