Sheriff Releases Statement On HB 512

“Last week the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 512, the Safe Carry Protection Act.  Though named such, this bill is everything but safe for the citizens of this state.  It allows for the carrying of weapons in previously unauthorized locations such as government buildings, places of worship, bars and even certain school safety zones and school functions.  The bill also allows individuals who have had their weapons permit revoked to be eligible again as gun permit holders under certain circumstances.  It also removes fingerprinting requirements for renewal licenses.

This law passed by 117 affirmative votes to 56 opposing.  It was passed under an emotional move more than likely resulting from the urging of licensed gun holders with the desire to protect themselves without thinking of all the possible consequences and circumstances.   If this bill passes the Senate, licensed gun owners will be allowed to bring their weapons to Commission and City Council meetings where emotions sometimes run high.  They will be allowed in school functions where it is not unusual for parents to be in conflict with a referee or each other.  Finally, it will allow guns in courthouses.  In DeKalb we have had several occasions in which victims, criminal suspects and even those in opposing civil legal positions have argued and even fought.  The only guns needed for the protection of these individuals were the ones carried by my deputies.  If those involved in courthouse conflicts possessed weapons, the outcomes would definitely have been different.

It seems that in today’s gun debates, legislators believe that if a gun owner is licensed, he is unlikely to commit a crime and is exempt from becoming emotional and using his or her weapon. I vehemently disagree.  Just because an individual goes to his county or municipality, pays a fee and offers his/her fingerprints does not exempt them from breaking a law or categorize them as more law abiding.  Yes, licensed gun owners pass a background check but think of how many suspects commit serious crimes as their first offense.  Many of our mass shootings have been committed by individuals who have never before been charged with a crime.

The only reason to bring a gun into court or a government meeting  where law enforcement are present for your protection is either to test the law or intimidate those within the facility.  It is our job to protect our courts and those individuals working or handling business within the court complex.  If guns are allowed, I foresee a demand for increase security measures to ensure that the intentions of these licensed gun owners remain honorable.  This will cost the tax payer at a time when budget concerns are crucial.”

If you have questions about the above statement or which sheriff is actually responsible for those statements, contact Sergeant Adrion Bell via:

Phone:  404-456-6534

Or email: [email protected]



  1. Harry says:

    Where entry control points are in place as is the case in courthouses, there is no need to carry firearms because the need for self-defense is removed. However, where there is uncontrolled entry, there should never be a restriction on legally licensed individuals to carry in order to protect themselves and others.

    • TheEiger says:

      Tell that to the people who were killed a few years ago in the Fulton County Court house by Brian Nichols.

      • Nonchalant says:

        Since ancedote is data–Tell that to the lady killed by Red Dog. Since police apparently can’t guarantee they will have 100% error-free or 100% safe behavior either, perhaps cops should be unarmed, like English bobbies, and just like they wish the people to be.

        • gcp says:

          Nonchalant, are you referring to the Katherine Johnson killing? If so, those individuals were narcotics officers, not Red Dog officers.

  2. Nonchalant says:

    I love law enforcement. I am especially touched by the way they say, if one bad apple does something wrong, that we should never judge an entire force harshly….while at the same time saying the people should be enchained by the rule of lowest common denominator.

    Must be nice to be infallible and pure.

  3. GotUrBack says:

    Apparently the DeKalb Sheriff did not take seriously the Georgia Sheriff’s Association stance on gun legislation:
    GSA Position on the Gun Debate

    The sheriffs took an oath to support the Constitution and will stand by the 2nd Amendment. The sheriffs will aggressively oppose federal or state legislation which infringes upon law abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.

    The sheriffs further agree to support any legislation that would effectively penalize criminals who use firearms in the commission of crimes.

    Guess this is one less Georgia Sheriff the citizens can count on to support the second amendment!

  4. Ellynn says:

    What this means is that every government building user is going to put in a request to have all of their chambers, witness rooms, victim centers, tax departments, general offices, desks, benches, windows, doors, and walls retro-fitted with bullit proof and/or restistant walls, panels and glass. This of course will cost money, which the taxpayers have to pay for, which almost 3/4 of the people in the state will complain about when either other services are cut or taxes go up, which will make them even madder in goverment meetings they are attending with their hand guns at the ready, requiring more law enforcement to be present instead in the streets or to hire more officers, which will cause your taxes to go up more, which the masses will complain about again…ect…ect…ect…

  5. Taurus says:

    Either the good sheriff hasn’t read the bill, doesn’t understand the bill or is intentionally trying to mislead people.
    -He mentions getting into a conflict with a referee when sporting events will still be off limits according to the bill.
    -He mentions it allows guns into courthouses and then gives “Dekalb” examples. The bill allows licensed carriers to carry into government buildings where ingress is not restricted. Dekalb, on the other hand, has metal detectors and many armed officers preventing entry. Does he not understand the bill as written? His example indicates otherwise.
    -He says only his deputies need guns to “protect” individuals. He needs to read Warren vs DC. Google it. There is no duty to protect.
    -He says the only reason to bring a gun to court or a government building is to test the law or intimidate. Is that why police carry guns, to intimidate, or is it to protect themselves when they perform their duties? He also overlooks that people have the right to protect themselves traveling to and from these locations.
    -He also insults law abiding citizens of his county and the state by saying background checks verifying many years of being law abiding citizens doesn’t mean they won’t break the law tomorrow. I won’t get into the list of officers caught in recent sting operations, but to accuse all citizens of being potential criminals that haven’t been charged yet shows a serious distrust of the very people that hired you in the first place.

    The sheriff’s office is one of a constitutional officer. This sheriff’s release indicates more of an agenda than it does his intentions to uphold the oath he swore, which was to support and defend the Constitution.

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