As the 2014 legislative session approaches, we’re all gearing up for the “hot button” issues that will rise to the forefront and be the buzz for all the bloggers. With the possible May election, it would be a surprise to no one to see session shortened in an effort to get back to important things, like fundraising. Legislators will hopefully evaluate meticulously in selecting the legislation they choose to push, which will likely include several recommitted bills from 2013.
HB 100 in particular, relating to the state-level executive powers of firearm confiscation during a state of emergency caught the attention of many but dwindled quickly amongst the campus carry drama. Representative Delvis Dutton (R-157) introduced HB 100, which is more comprehensive and thorough than previous legislation of the same nature, in what has been a growing trend since the unconstitutional seizure of firearms following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Specifically, HB100 states,
“No official or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof…,while acting during or pursuant to a declared state of emergency, shall: temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize the seizure of any firearms or ammunition…prohibit possession of any firearm or ammunition or any component thereof…prohibit any license holder from carrying any weapon…or require registration of any firearm.”
In also adding a few definitions and procedural matters, HB 100 would essentially protect second amendment rights during a declared state of emergency when rules and rights are often skirted.
HB 100 had, and continues to have, extensive support. Currently there are 47 House signers, both Georgia Gun Owners and Georgia Carry support the measure and it falls in line with similar NRA-backed legislation that has been enacted across the nation. Organizations like ALEC and NAGR have jumped in to help with legislation in several states, including, but not limited to, Oklahoma, Virginia, Missouri, Maine and even Michigan and California…but somehow HB100 did not wiggle down the pipeline in Georgia.
Interestingly assigned to the House Judiciary Committee (and not Public Safety or Judiciary Non-Civil), HB100 passed through subcommittee and full committee with bipartisan support but did not make it out of Rules by day 30 even after requests by multiple Representatives. The rumor is that Governor Deal, and his minute-men, worked to stop this bill from the beginning and plan to do the same in 2014.
It is a tad surprising that following Sandy Hook, Aurora and tragedies of the like, when responsible gun owners are literally clinging to their guns AND in a season of a contested primary, Governor Deal still has not come out in full support of our second amendment rights and HB 100. Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, when asked about his position on such legislation, said he is “100% adamantly opposed to any bill or behavior that restricts our freedoms” and would support legislation that would remove the executive power to confiscate firearms. Calls to Governor Deal’s office regarding this issue were not returned. John Barge for Govenor also chose not to offer a position on the issue, but I imagine he is busy with his spelling flashcards.
::cue Liberty Drum::