Legislative Notebook: Gun bill triggers midstate skepticism

March 20, 2013 

Legislative Notebook: Gun bill triggers midstate skepticism

Georgia’s over-21 gun carriers would be able to go armed into more places, like churches, bars and parts of college campuses, under a House-approved bill now in the state Senate.

State Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, said he will ask to add the state Capitol to gun-friendly venues, but it’s because he’s betting that if legislators ponder armed constituents at their own Gold Dome offices, they will vote down the whole bill.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.

Freshman state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson said, “I’m always for our Second Amendment rights,” but thinking about his fellow students during his years at the University of Georgia, he added, “some of them, I would question their judgment.”

State Sen. Ross Tolleson, R-Perry, expects House Bill 512 to make it to the Senate floor, but perhaps with provisions that leave carrying firearms up to each individual college, church or other place.

“The only thing we should do is give them the opportunity to make that decision for themselves,” he said. “I go to church, but I’m not real hip with a bunch of folks carrying guns in there, to be honest with you. But I do say they have the right to make that decision.”

The Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee has yet to schedule a vote on the bill.

Crawford, Jones and Glascock counties seek longer deer season

Open firearms season on deer in Crawford, Jones and Glascock counties would be two weeks longer, to end on Jan. 15, if an unrelated bill about turkey hunting passes the state Legislature.

State Rep. Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch, was one of three legislators behind an amendment to House Bill 207 making the change. The extension is meant to draw hunters’ visits and money into the counties. Rules on hunting other animals are unchanged in the bill. The bill is waiting in the House Rules Committee for a chance at Senate debate.

-- Maggie Lee

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