If you have been watching the Georgia news feeds, pro-gunners finally got what they wanted this week. Pure, unedited proof that confiscation was the end goal. It is that story, and that story alone, that I wish to focus on tonight.
1.) Backstory. Two years ago, the Georgia Legislature passed HB60, The Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014. The bill had a number of changes and is widely regarded as one of the most sweeping adjustments to any state’s gun laws. Among other things, it allowed for the carry of weapons in churches and bars if the owners allowed (versus the blanket ban), and left no questions that guns were allowed on the landside terminal at Hartsfield.
The bill was, of course,met with the same promises of the end-times CJ Grisham and Open Carry Texas were faced with last year for Open Carry. We are still waiting on the apocalypse.
2.) The ban. Our legislature is part time. It has only just gotten back in session. One of those bills is HB 731, a bill that is essentially a ban on numerous weapons with a broad definition of the term “assault weapon.” In particular, I wish to draw your attention to the following excerpt (line 86)
(F) Any semiautomatic firearm which is:
87 (i) A semiautomatic center-fire rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable
88 magazine and has at least one of the following:
89 (I) A folding or telescoping stock;
90 (II) Any grip of the weapon, including, but not limited to, a pistol grip, a forward
91 pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other stock, the use of which would allow a
92 person to grip the weapon, resulting in any finger on the trigger hand in addition to
93 the trigger finger being directly below any portion of the action of the weapon when
95 (III) A flash suppressor; or
96 (IV) A grenade launcher or flare launcher;
97 (ii) A semiautomatic center-fire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the ability to
98 accept more than ten rounds;
99 (iii) A semiautomatic center-fire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches;
16 LC 41 0563
H. B. 731
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100 (iv) A semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and
101 has at least one of the following:
102 (I) An ability to accept a detachable ammunition magazine that attaches at some
103 location outside of the pistol grip;
104 (II) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward pistol grip,
105 or silencer;
106 (III) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and
107 that permits the shooter to fire the firearm without being burned, not including a
108 slide that encloses the barrel; or
109 (IV) A second hand grip;
Name me an AR that doesn’t have a telescopic or folding stock, or a pistol that doesn’t accept detachable magazines. The bill made (or, as we’ll see, WOULD have made) the sale, possession, manufacture, transport, and distribution of any of it a felony with up to ten years imprisonment as the punishment. Yes, ten years for possessing a pistol with a detachable magazine.
3.) Upshot. The bill’s dead. On Friday, House Speaker David Ralston said he has no intention of bringing the bill to the floor. “As long as I am speaker of this House, I will not use any of our valuable time taking away the constitutional rights of our citizens,” he said at a presser. Interestingly, the bill’s author, Mary Oliver, said he hoped the bill would start an “intellectual,” as the AJC puts it discussion on “gun violence.”
Trouble is, anyone who zeroes in on the intellectually dishonest route of only caring about violence with a particular weapon, by definition, can’t be interested in an intellectual debate.
Ralston continued, “In the wake of [the mass shootings in] Paris and San Bernadino, [I can’t see] how someone believes that the solutions to some of these problems are to disarm law-abiding Georgians and Americans. Its not something we’re going to deal with in the House.”
Granted, the bill was never going to survive in the first place, but the bill’s text, and the coverage of it (or rather, lack of coverage) is telling for numerous reasons.
4.) Take-home lessons. How many times have we heard “nobody wants to take your guns”? Georgia Democrats have made it clear that gun control’s end game is, in fact, confiscation. The relative lack of coverage this bill got versus the end-times prophecies HB60 ended up enduring is telling. Coverage of a pro-gun bill was everywhere, coverage of a gun confiscation bill was limited to the pro-gun press. Additionally, the press conference used to announce HB 731 is telling of what tactics will be used elsewhere should a similar bill arise in your state, namely various “religious and community leaders” throwing their support behind a bill everyone knows won’t actually impact crime.
The impulsiveness of one Georgia legislator may have helped galvanize the case opponents of gun control possess, and the lack of attention the bill is getting from other anti-gun outlets shows the real intent behind gun control.
It isn’t about the guns, it is now provably about control. And we now have the legislation to prove it.
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.