U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– On March 11, 2022, the Georgia House passed the Constitutional Carry bill, HB 1358, 94 to 57, with 5 Representatives not voting, and 24 excused. HB 1358 defines a “lawful weapons carrier” as a person who is eligible for a license to carry, any non-resident who would otherwise be eligible for a license to carry, and any person from another state who has a license to carry a weapon in another state. The bill then removes restrictions from carry in many areas which were previously restricted. Here is an example, showing part of the proposed law:
(f) Notwithstanding 16-12-127, any lawful weapons carrier may carry a weapon in all parks, historic sites, or recreational areas, as such term is defined in Code Section 12-3-10, including all publicly owned buildings located in such parks, historic sites, and recreational areas, in wildlife management areas, and on public transportation; provided, however, that a person shall not carry a handgun into a place where it is prohibited by federal law.
A separate Senate measure, SB 319, passed on February 28th, 34 to 22. The two bills now need to be rectified between the two chambers.
One chamber may accept the other’s bill, which would then be sent to Governor Kemp, who is openly championing Constitutional Carry, as a way of bolstering his conservative credentials.
Kemp lost significant credibility during the botched and much-disputed election of 2020. Significant evidence has surfaced showing illegal ballot harvesting may have swung the election.
Governor Kemp, on Twitter, tweeted that he is working hard to “get Constitutional Carry across the finish line!” From twitter.com:
I am committed to working with both the Georgia House and Senate to get Constitutional Carry across the finish line!
With significant majorities in both chambers voting for bills that are very close in content, one of the two bills will probably be sent to Governor Kemp for signature in the next few days.
It would take a significantly disruptive event for Governor Kemp to veto a bill he has worked so hard to get through the legislature while campaigning for the primary election.
Alabama’s Governor Ivey signed a Constitutional Carry bill into law on March 11th. It will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
An Ohio Constitutional Carry bill is on the desk of Governor DeWine. If he does nothing, it will become law on midnight of March 15th.
Indiana passed a Constitutional Carry bill out of the legislature, to be sent to Governor Holcomb. The bill, with a final designation of HB 1296, has some administrative actions to be taken before it is officially sent to Governor Holcomb. It has to be signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. The Speaker has already signed it. The President (Lt. Governor Susan Crouch) had not signed it as of March 11th. Once it arrives at Governor Holcomb’s desk, he has seven days to sign or veto it before it becomes law.
Nebraska recently voted for cloture on the debate for its pending Constitutional Carry bill, LB 773. This is considered the largest hurdle to overcome in the Nebraska unicameral legislature. At least two more votes are required before the bill would be sent to Nebraska’s governor.
It is possible all four states will pass legislation to restore Constitutional Carry in 2022, bringing the total membership in the Constitutional Carry club to 26.
As of March 11, 2022 there are 22 members of the Constitutional Carry club. They are listed below:
Alabama*, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
*Alabama’s legislation will not take effect until January 1, 2023.
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 retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.