GA: Omnibus Gun Law Reform Moves Forward with Knife Law Reform

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(
HB 292 is the Georgia omnibus gun law reform bill for 2017.  It is similar to the reform bill HB 1060, that passed the legislature last year. That bill was vetoed by Governor Deal.

HB 292 has a couple of differences. Church carry is not addressed in the 2017 bill, and knife reform has been added as an amendment.

Here are some of the features of HB 292, from

  • Will allow for a person moving into GA who has a valid firearms license or permit to carry on that permit for 90 days or upon person attaining a GWL;
  • Allow for certain law enforcement officers to carry when in performance of their official duties;
  • Provides for Probate Judge and the DNR to offer Gun Safety Information to applicants for GWL;
  • Gives law enforcement 10 days to report to the Probate Judge any findings that may bear upon the issuance of a GWL;
  • The judge of the probate court shall not suspend the processing of the application or extend, delay, or avoid any time requirements
  • Provides a path to repeal the GWL upon adjudication of a matter that would effect the maintenance of a GWL;
  • Provides for a name change due to marriage or divorce or an address change if the GWL’s expiration date is over 90 days out.  The fee for such replacement is determined by Code Section 15-9-60 (k)(13) and is currently $6.00
  • Makes changes to Code Section 16-11-130
  • Defines the term commercial service airport;
  • Defines the term major airline carrier;
  • Provides a path for a person who has been involuntarily hospitalized to apply for restoration of rights.
  • Provides that any instructor who lawfully instructs, educates, or trains a person in the safe, proper, or technical use of a firearm shall be immune from civil liability for any injuries caused by the failure of such person to use such firearm properly or lawfully.

The knife reform that has been added changes the definition of “knife” from those with a blade of more than five inches, to those with a blade of more than 12 inches. This means that knives with blades of less than 12 inches are not regulated by the law.  If the reform passes, there will be “Constitutional Carry” for blades of less than 12 inches.

Knife rights lobbied for the inclusion of the knife law reform.

Another amendment has been to include language to prohibit financial institutions from discriminating against people or trade associations solely because of their engagement in the lawful commerce of firearms or ammunition.

HB 292 has passed the House with a vote of  127 to 48 on March 3rd, 2017. It has passed Senate committee on March 20th. It passed the full Senate on March 28th, 37-16 with 2 not voting. It was sent back to the House (because of the Senate amendment) and was approved as amended by the Senate on March 28, 110-49 with 7 not voting and 14 excused. It has not  been sent to Governor Deal at this time.

It seems likely that Governor Deal will sign this omnibus gun law reform. The incremental reforms in this bill are not a difficult sell. But Governor Deal has vetoed gun law reform bills in the past.

Once the bill is sent to the Governor, if the legislature is in session, the Governor has six days to sign or veto the bill.  More commonly, the Governor is sent the bill after the legislature ends the session. Then the Governor has 40 days to sign or veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed, the legislature has an opportunity to override the veto at the next legislative session.  HB 292 has passed with enough votes for a veto override.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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