Georgia Congress members believe that your gun rights do not stop at the state line.

In 2013, A Pennsylvania woman, a single mother of two, was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon even though she was licensed to carry a concealed firearm in her home state. After spending 40 days in jail and losing her job, she was pardoned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a major new gun bill that has managed to cause consternation for both gun control advocates and champions of the Second Amendment such as the National Rifle Association.

HR 38, known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, passed on a mostly party-line vote of 231–198. It is no surprise that Democrats voted no for the bill; however, Sanford Bishop from Albany voted for the measure.

Also included in the bill was the Fix NICS Act, which was merged into the Concealed-Carry legislation on Tuesday. The Fix NICS language is designed to correct underreporting or disqualifying records to the FBI, so firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands. The Fix NICS bill would also implement a semi-annual reporting requirement for all military branches to tell Congress and the public how reporting is compiled.

Also opposed to the final legislative package was a clutch of hardcore gun rights activists who supported the concealed-carry provisions of the law but were opposed to the background check provisions. The Fix NICS bill will allow for an appropriation of up to $625 million to the states to expand the National Background Check Database.

Combining the two bills helped get the entire gun legislative package through House, but not without criticism from even some Republicans.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), was most vocal about combining the bills and who wrote a lengthy Facebook post “blowing the whistle on the swamp” for logrolling on the Concealed-Carry bill. According to Massie, administrative agencies, not courts, could submit more names to the national background check database while putting those agencies in a position of adjudicating Second Amendment rights, something Massie says should be left up to the courts. However, administrative agencies are already required quarterly to send information on people who are prohibited from owning firearms to the U.S. Attorney General.

Republican Congresswoman Karen Handel (GA -06) placed an amendment to HR 4477, the Fix NICS bill, when the bill was in committee and became part of the merged legislation that passed the House on Wednesday.

Handel’s amendment requires the U.S. Attorney General to report to Congress on the use of bump stocks in the commission of criminal activity. Additionally, the amendment directs the Attorney General to provide a legal opinion on whether federal law already allows enhanced sentencing for criminals using bump stocks.

Republican Congressman Tom Graves (GA-14) said “[t]he Second Amendment is alive and well, and passing this bill reaffirms the constitutional right of every law-abiding American to keep and bear arms. With concealed carry reciprocity, those who legally hold a concealed carry permit in one state can carry in another state without fear of accidentally breaking its laws.”

Congressman Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) said “[t]he only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. A few months ago, my colleagues and I were in a fight for our lives on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. Due to gun laws in Washington D.C., my colleagues and I – many of whom hold valid gun licenses in our respective states – were unarmed. I never want to be in a gun fight again, but definitely not without a gun….“Law abiding citizens should not have to wonder if their right to carry is ‘valid’ from state to state. This legislative package, which includes the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, protects a law-abiding citizens’ right to protect themselves across state lines.”

Overview of HR 38 and Fix NICS legislativeaive package:

  • H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
  • Allows law-abiding individuals with valid concealed carry permits to carry a concealed handgun in any state that allows concealed carry.
  • Retains private individual, state or local government’s ability to restrict the possession of concealed firearms on certain property.
  • Clarifies that federal law enforcement officers, including retired and off-duty officers, are not subject to gun restrictions in federally-defined school zones. 
  • The Fix NICS language added to HR 38 (formarly known as HR 4477): 
  • Streamlines the National Instant Criminal Background Check System under reporting requirements.
  • Requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct a study on bump stocks.
  • Financially incentivizes states to upgrade their database reporting methods.

Vote Party Congressmember District
Aye R Carter, Buddy GA 1st
Aye D Bishop, Sanford GA 2nd
Aye R Ferguson, Drew GA 3rd
No D Johnson, Hank GA 4th
No D Lewis, John GA 5th
Aye R Handel, Karen GA 6th
Aye R Woodall, Rob GA 7th
Aye R Scott, Austin GA 8th
Aye R Collins, Doug GA 9th
Aye R Hice, Jody GA 10th
Aye R Loudermilk, Barry GA 11th
Aye R Allen, Rick GA 12th
No D Scott, David GA 13th
Aye R Graves, Tom GA 14th

Source: Govtrack

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Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns.  Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. He and his wife have lived in Camden County for 17 years, and they have two teenage children. Jeremy and his family live in St. Marys, GA and attend the Harbour Worship Center in Kingsland.


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