It’s All About You

Occasionally they will slip up and tell you what the real objective of their “commonsense gun safety” and “good first step” gun laws really is. Notice this comment from a Facebook thread discussing the recent shooting in Aurora, Illinois:
That’s right. The commenter here never mentions how useful background checks are in keeping guns away from criminals; rather he points out their utility in creating lists of gun owners which can be used later to confiscate guns. Remember that…it’s going to come up again.
 
Then, since police had his name on a list, they raided his home and confiscated all his guns. Actually, that’s not true. I made that part up.What the police did do after revoking his FOID card was…send him a letter. In the letter he was informed that the FOID card was revoked and ordered to surrender his guns to his local police department. It’s unclear what happened after that (other than the part where he still had a gun and shot people with it).
Bev Horne/Daily Herald via AP
 
I suppose it is possible that the police were simply too busy to go get his guns, but then that doesn’t make the confiscation of the hundreds of millions of American guns look too feasible, does it?
It’s also possible that the police did go looking for his guns, and he hid them. Or that they did confiscate them and he simply went out and got another (without a FOID card or background check). Doesn’t make those gun control laws look too effective, does it?
 
And it is possible that the reason that cops typically don’t go all raid-ey and confiscate-y on this guy and other prohibited persons who fail background checks is because none of this is about disarming criminals, it’s about disarming YOU.
In fact, people who fail background checks while attempting to purchase firearms are almost NEVER prosecuted (12 prosecutions out of 112,090 denials in 2017), and there are a couple of reasons for this. The first and foremost reason is the extremely high rate of false positives (some estimates run into the 90% range). Bear in mind that when we say “false positive” in regards to a NICS background check failure, we are actually talking about a law-abiding citizen who was denied their right to purchase a firearm.
This brings us to the second big reason that there are so few prosecutions for failed background checks, and it is because…you may want to sit down for this…actual criminals don’t submit to background checks in the first place. Studies have shown time and again (as if we needed a study to tell us this) that criminals obtain their firearms by buying them on the street from other criminals, from friends and family members, or most commonly by stealing them. Sorry, but I don’t think you’re going to get a crook to take that stolen gun to an FFL for a background check.
That’s why the Illinois murderer still had a gun, despite all the controls in place in that state. He was never going to submit to gun control laws, and the truth is they weren’t designed to stop criminals like him. They are only meant to create an ever-tightening noose around the necks of law-abiding citizens, until the point that it is impossible for people like you to own a firearm (see the Facebook comment at the top of the page).
It’s not about crime. It’s all about you, baby.

How to Ban Private Gun Ownership in America

It can be done. You just can’t do it in one fell swoop. You must do it in steps.

You take the first step in 1934 by making some kinds of guns bad, requiring them to be registered with the government and levying a special tax on them. This is to establish the idea that while some guns are OK, other guns are bad. This will be handy later on.

Image result for nfa restricted firearms

You take the next step in 1968. You pass laws adding more restrictions on gun ownership and sales, most notably establishing the requirement of a government-issued license for a business to sell guns. This will be handy later on.

Image result for FFL

Your next step is in 1993, when you pass a law creating certain classes of citizens who are prohibited from possessing guns, as well as adding a requirement that licensed dealers (created in 1968) run each prospective purchaser through an FBI background check before selling them a gun. This will be handy later on.

Image result for filling out 4473

It is now “later on.” It is 2019, and none of this has had any impact on criminal gun ownership. Although that is not the true objective, you point this out and insist that we must take yet another step.

Image result for house judiciary committee hearing hr 8
House Judiciary Committee advances HR 8 to markup.

So far you have managed to outlaw certain types of guns and certain types of gun owners, and to require that sales from licensed dealers obtain government permission before proceeding. The problem is that citizens are still allowed to transfer (some) guns to each other without the participation of a licensed dealer (1968) or a background check (1993).

This next step is to pass laws requiring “universal background checks.” (2019) This will now close the loop and ensure that no guns of any type (good or bad) are transferred to any citizen (good or bad) without government permission. And although some would say this is a “good first step,” they are now only two moves away from the end game.

From AWR Hawkins at Breitbart News.

The next step is to point out that “universal background checks” have been ineffective in reducing crime (though they were not intended to reduce crime) since you don’t know who in America owns all the guns. You can’t tell if people are complying with the background check law without gun registration. So you pass that law…to “close the loophole”…and now you have everything you need. All the pieces are in position to take the final step and eliminate private gun ownership in America…at least by law abiding citizens.

 

Let’s review:

We have established that some guns are bad, and the government decides what those are. (1934)

We have decided that some people are bad and prohibited from gun ownership, and the government decides who they are. (1993)

We require government permission to obtain a gun. (2019?)

The government has a list of guns and gun owners. (?)

Remember, every time they pass another law, it is referred to as a “good first step”…right before the next one.

Avery Skipalis

One of the cool things that happened at the end of 2018 was I came acquainted with a like minded firearms instructor and entrepreneur named Avery Skipalis.  She is the CEO of Skips Tactical Solutions out of Florida.  

Between her and Mike of M-Wtactical.com I have someone to share my knowledge with, pass on the torch and learn from myself.  It’s nice having friends.

Please welcome her to the family.  

This is a live video we did last Thursday.  Our first.  

 

Avery

Her name is Avery “Skip” Skipalis, owner of Skip’s Tactical Solutions. Skip’s Tactical Solutions is a 100% Veteran owned and Operated business. She started  her firearm instruction company because she want to empower people to make sure that no one else becomes a victim. She gained her firearms experience from the military and has been a military firearms instructor for over 9 years. She has been a certified Glock Advanced Armorer since 2015. She’s attended Sig Sauer, FNH, Special Operations Command Armorers courses as well as multiple Advanced Shooting Schools across the US.

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

Celebrating the Tie that Binds

Last week we hit the 600 mark on podcast.  I started in the winter of 2006 and have learned a lot about myself, the world and the gun community as a result.

The podcast ties together the friends, instructors, activist, and gun owners I have met since 1991.

I use the show to not only talk about guns, products and politics but to encourage, inspire and entertain this group of patriots, great citizens, and family members using the power of podcasting.

Gun rights activist, firearms instructor, humanitarian and patriot, Rev. Kenn Blanchard is raising money to travel this Spring to meet you, his friends.

 

 

 

This design will be made into a high quality, PVC key chains to sell as mementos to reaching 600 episodes on the Black Man with A Gun Show podcast and being a leader in the grassroots gun community since 1991.

Click here to order yours.  Only $5.50 plus .50 shipping


You can get a tee shirt and other cool stuff at Kenn’s store which also supports his work, and encourages him to fight on without relying on begging corporate sponsors.Power to the People! 
If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

If Hunting is So Bad then Why Aren’t The Stats Showing It

 

American hunters started the country’s conservation practice 100 years ago. They were aware of the increasing animal population and fast industrial development. The developments brought serious risks to wildlife, and hunters found a way to protect the resources.

They created and fought for different regulations and rules that created an improved system of wildlife management that exists today. Majority of American hunters actively participate in the conservation of wildlife, but their opponents do not understand the serious threats that may turn out to be a reality if those beneficial activities stop.

 

Some Facts

The opposing side believes that if hunting stops, the wildlife will bloom, while the opposite is true.

For instance, deer population can be reduced up to 40% on a yearly basis without any threat to their existence, while hunters rarely take less than 15% of their population.

Without hunting, there would be too many deer, and other animal population would be jeopardized.

It’s not just about deer, huge animal population dies due to the lack of grasslands during winters.

Quail has a yearly mortality rate of roughly 80%, considering whether it’s hunted or not.

Furthermore, professional wildlife management makes sure that hunters only take the excess of animal population.

To be honest, it’s the unregulated/illegal hunting that’s the real problem but labeling every other hunter as the reason is you being ignorant.

Deers Are a Menace!

The sudden surge in the population of deer is worrying. As of 2017,there are 33.5 million deer as compared to 38.1 million in 2000. Thanks to the hunters who have kept the population in check. Though they need to go out and hunt more!

The absence of their natural predators like wolves and movies like Bambi is a major reason for this.

Yes, deer are cute but they are rats with hooves! Not a single land is left ungrazed, countless wildflowers are on the verge of extinction.

As ecologist Aldo Leopold once wrote about deers grazing every piece of land:

I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn.”

Deers are more of a threat to the Eastern foreststhan climate change, and no this isn’t something natural!

I’ll be waiting for a remake of Bambi from the perspective of the Songbirds and the farmer trying to save his crops.

Oh, and did I mention the number of car wrecks caused due to deers? In Virginia alone, there’s a 1 in 46 chanceof colliding your car with a deer.

If talking about the US, approx 1.5 million cars get collided with deer annuals. The damages cost a whopping billion dollars!

Wildlife Conservation

America has had wildlife protection regulations from its beginning. Connecticut, for example, forbade the export of hunting across the state borders in 1677, and Virginia prohibited hunting of female deer in 1783.

New York banned the utilization of hounds in deer harvesting in 1788 and Rhode Island established the first hunting regulation in 1846 to save waterfowl population from spring shooting.

Clearly, there have always been concerns about the wildlife protection, and it is still the same today. Everything has been done with an intention to support a normal life of the animal population.

 

Wildlife Management Hubs

Some citizens believe that wildlife agency teams intentionally promote hunting and fishing laws and regulations. But it is not true. The agencies are responsible to protect the entire animal population, not only species from the list of legally hunted ones.

The American Hunting Policy pointed out the quantity and quality of wildlife as the main factor of determination and called professional hunters to adequately manage them.

 

Funds for Conservation

The costs of wildlife management are extremely high and go up to several hundreds of millions of US dollars every year for the entire country. The biggest part of those funds come from hunting license fees, which means hunters support the federal budget with a large portion of the money for wildlife protection (it’s around $1.4 Billion per year).

Each State Takes a Part

Income from license fees and taxes are separated among fifty wildlife agencies. Each state has its own agency, and it gets funds based on the state’s land area. That money covers roughly 75% of all costs for fish and wildlife restoration projects.

 

Funds for Ducks

A part of funds goes to waterfowl protection. All waterfowlers are obligated to purchase a duck stamp. The income is later utilized by government to purchase wetlands for waterfowl. The hunter’s backing supports land buying that is later used by many other species, not just waterfowl. It is definitely a very beneficial contribution.

 

Organized Effort by Enthusiasts

National Wildlife Federation gathers various enthusiasts including bird watchers, wildlife photographers, campers and all others who care about nature. Of course, hunters and anglers are an inherent part of the community. They make an organized effort in supporting wildlife.

The Population Explosion

Many animal populations have significantly grown in numbers, thanks to the efforts of hunters.

White-Tailed Deer:

According to the 2013 report by Quality Deer Management Association, North America’s deer population was calculated at roughly 500,000 in 1900, while now it is estimated at 32 million, and that is a serious improvement.

Ducks:

According to a 2013 report by USFWS, there are 46 million ducks in America and Canada which are way more than what we had in 1901.

Wild Turkeys:

There are more than 7 million wild turkeys according to a 2013 report by National Wild Turkey Foundation. This is a huge boost in population as compared to a mere 0.1 million population during the early 1900s.

Pronghorn Antelope:

There were merely 12,000 pronghorn antelopes 50-55 years ago. According to a 2011 report by Texas Parks and Wildlife, today there are more than 1 million Pronghorn Antelopes. All thanks to the conservation programs that have helped in a boom in their population.

 

Unfortunately, the number of hunters is increasing at a very slow rate. According to Jason Stein:

Nationally, the number of hunters dropped 16 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to a national survey released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau. The level of hunting in 2016 was the lowest measured in the past 25 years.”

The ecosystem would surely lose a balance without hunting, in fact stopping it would lead to an imbalance between the flora and fauna.

Hunters are way more involved in wildlife conservation than someone else discussing wildlife conservation while eating a roasted duck.

Hunters form the largest chunk of people donating and working for the wildlife.

Hunting is not just a hobby, it’s a tradition and brings food to the table of millions of Americans.

Enough for today, time to take some more Bambis down.

Bye Disney, shutup PETA.

 

About The Author:

A loving father, a hunter and a business owner. Greg has been in the hunting world for the last 15 years. He’s a small business owner living in the United States.  A fan of causes, volunteering, he also has quite a hobby of collecting hunting gears like scopes for his rifle collection and writes about them at PatrioticHunter.

Things That Go Bump

Wow. According to the flames shooting out of my laptop, the President recently banned bump stocks by executive action. These same flames also tell me that this betrayal spells doom for President Trump and the cowardly Republicans. Honestly, if I could figure out how to monetize the anti-Trump and anti-GOP commentary coming from the gun community over this bump stock ban, I’d have my next couple of African safaris paid for already.

Understand that I think bump stocks are a stupid range toy. They are an unserious waste of money and I personally have no use for them. Also understand that I oppose banning them, period…but I agree with Michael Bane that this is not the hill we want to die on.* In fact, I think the President’s attempt at a ban is a “yuge” mistake, and may very well be overturned in court. (Seriously, what’s a liberal judge going to do when blocking a Trump action means supporting gun rights?)

But here’s my proposal. If this “ends” Donald Trump and the Republicans, I’ll buy you a Bentley. You know what’s going to happen to them, worst case? Donald Trump doesn’t get re-elected and the Republicans move back into the minority in the Senate (having already lost the House). You think this “ends” them? Nope. Even if he’s not President anymore, Donald Trump will still be Donald Trump…and at least he was President once. (You get that promotion to Assistant Manager yet?) And the Republicans? They might be in the minority in the House and Senate, but they’re still in the House and the Senate…and you’re still stuck in line at the Chick-fil-A.

So what’s my point? My point is that they aren’t afraid of you, dear Gun Voter. Shake your fist at the sky and threaten to never vote for them again, and watch them scurry off in fear to pass National Reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act…right after they finish fighting that dastardly bump stock ban. Right?

I’ll never vote Republican again, as long as I live!

The truth is that the GOP prefers to be in the minority. As the minority, they don’t have to produce any results. All they need to do is “fight the good fight,” where they can then vote for all this pro-gun stuff, knowing it will never pass. Then the scrappy losers can hit the campaign trail and tell you how much they loves them some 2nd Amendment, and how they will never give in…as long as you vote for them. Go ahead and throw them in that briar patch, Brer Fox…

But here is where the two parties differ. While the Republicans may not fear their electorate enough to pass pro-gun legislation, the Democrats expect to be loved by their electorate for passing the most stringent gun control imaginable. And although this doesn’t bode well for advancing gun freedom, it ought to be clear which is the worst of the two options.

So what to do? The Vichy GOP will likely never go to the mat to roll back any existing gun control law (and they are all gun control laws). But I am also confident that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, her bump stock ban would be old news, and we’d certainly be facing even worse. Give Democrats enough power, and you’ll be calling Donald Trump’s bump stock ban “the good old days.”

So spare me the tirades about how you’re done with Trump and the Republicans. Sit out future elections, or worse…vote Democrat…and see what happens. Me? I guess I’ll keep voting Republican and working to “bump” them in the right direction.

 

 

*And if you want my pro-2A bonafides, here goes: I really and truly believe that every single gun law enacted since 1781 should be repealed. All of them. I am not exaggerating one bit. So there.

It Can’t Happen Here

“It can’t happen here,” is a phrase often associated with denial, and in the firearms industry, we usually discuss denial within the context of violent crime. Not today.

In my state of Kentucky, we have enjoyed a strong pro-gun environment for quite a while. Kentucky joined the concealed carry wave relatively early on, adopting shall-issue concealed carry in 1996. Here in the Bluegrass State, concealed carry licensing is relatively easy and reciprocity is widespread, and there are many other robust protections for gun owners.

But now we are facing a bill which is truly a gun controller’s wet dream. Pre-filed in the Kentucky General Assembly by Representative George Brown (D-Fayette County), BR 349 is basically an omnibus gun control bill. I would encourage you to read it for yourself here, but here are some highlights of this atrocious piece of anti-gun legislation:

  • Defines semiautomatic rifles ‘assault weapons’ based on a removable magazine plus a single feature, such as a pistol grip.
  • Defines pistols with a threaded muzzle as an ‘assault weapon’.
  • Defines magazines which hold more than 7 rounds as ‘high capacity’.
  • Enacts requirements for all transfers of firearms to go through a licensed dealer (FFL), to include a background check.
  • Makes all firearms transfer records public.
  • Enacts mandatory reporting requirements for loss/theft of firearms.
  • Enacts safe storage requirements.
  • Requires inventory of firearms belonging to the estate of deceased persons be reported to the county Clerk of Courts.
  • Creates licensing requirement for handgun possession.
  • Registers all handguns.
  • Registers all ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ as defined above.
  • Requires dealers to log sales and periodically transmit that log to the Kentucky State Police.

Now, it is unlikely that this bill will even make it out of committee. But this is pro-gun Kentucky, and the fact that a bill like this even exists here ought to give you chills, even if you live in another state…especially if you live in another state. Because it can happen here. And if it can happen in a state like Kentucky, it can happen anywhere.

Where liberty goes to die.

Don’t think it can’t. Don’t fall asleep and assume that politicians will simply do the right thing. Contact your legislators and remind them that we value our gun freedom here, and that you expect them to represent those values when they kill this thing.

Click on the picture below to find out who your Kentucky legislators are and how to contact them.

 

You, Me, and Police Shootings: The Truth

“The Second Amendment is for everyone.” I have to repeat the mantra of fellow former US Marine, gun rights activist, and podcaster Tony Simon.  I know people that don’t realize they are free. They believe that the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are subjective. They have allowed injustices to occur because they feel that things don’t apply to them.

A right delayed is a right denied – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But where are we collectively as gun rights advocates when it comes to the recent police shootings of Black Men With Guns?  I had a different draft post before I read this article from The Rolling Stones Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt from The “Good Guy With A Gun” is Never Black.”

The lack of ability to imagine black people as heroes may be one explanation for these shootings. That was one of the countless things that James Baldwin was right about. American fiction is a significant contributor to our ideas of heroism both on the page and onscreen, and as the author both wrote and said in 1965, “It comes as a great shock to see Gary Cooper killing off the Indians, and although you are rooting for Gary Cooper, that the Indians are you.” Regardless of color, we all are trained from an early age not merely to synchronize whiteness and heroism, but are fed narratives that discourage us from forming any other conclusion. Barack Obama wasn’t enough to change that, to say nothing of Lando Calrissian, Roger Murtaugh or Axel Foley. Not even T’Challa from Black Panther or Chris from Get Out. A childhood of seeing men of color as cannon fodder for Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and other assorted Good White Guys With Guns has an effect on folks.

Jamil Smith

This article made me remember that I have been here before.  I have thought many times since 1986 about the possibility of being shot myself by a law enforcement officer even after graduating from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.  Being pro-gun, African American and a staunch supporter of gun rights doesn’t make me immune.

The accidental death of an African American man in Alabama by a police officer is not news you want to read on Thanksgiving holidays, much less have happen at all.  As a responsible gun owner where should we be in this conversation?

If you are a Black person, the lens in which you look at the recent shootings of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr, and Jemel Roberson can be different.

I know police are not shooting African Americans for fun and profit.    This stuff still bother us, regardless of color.  Blaming the police broadly is a “cop-out.”

If you are a law enforcement officer  I would dare to say that you hate to hear about this,  knowing that it will make your job even harder than it already is.

Let’s look at the police.  

The police have a difficult job.  They are called to act before all the facts are known in dangerous situations.  They have to basically jump into a crowd of strangers and figure out the good guys from the bad guys.  When they get it wrong someone dies.

Have you ever heard of “Qualified Immunity.”  It is a legal defense where government officials are held harmless if they followed established procedures. It is that established procedure that will be exonerate or incarcerate the police officer in question.  The details won’t make it out of court.  You only will see the drama.  Folks will protest without knowing what was said in court.  Even what you can see on video isn’t ironclad.  There are always circumstances.

I am not excusing anything that has happened.

Police departments that can afford it use simulators to train when to shoot and when not to shoot. This reality based training is extremely useful in exposing weaknesses in police policy and in officer training.  I know for a fact that training is the first thing cut out from a departments budget.  And some people shouldn’t be police officers.

The truth is, you can’t fix stupid.

We hold law enforcement to a different standard but it is not fair.  They are still just people.

The Media

The Media is challenged to report on what will get the most amount of eyes. As consumers, we will change the channel if there is no exciting news. Fear sells.  We like to believe the worst of people before we watch good news so the media broadcasts daily, imagery of dangerous black men, criminals, using and dealing drugs, over-sexed, unemployable, idle and the epitome of death and doom. It is amplified by pop music and underground loving culture and ignorance, that promotes the negative stereotypes.  We have no problem with that.  That is why is it reported on a loop.   It is sensational. Its media worthy.  It divides.  It sells.

Black people have already started the campaign against all police.  That is wrong.

Fear. False Expectation Appearing Real.

 

The racism that everybody always brings up is really based on a fear of loss.  Almost everything we do is based on the fear of loss.  We buy stuff we don’t need because of it.  White supremacy is based on the fear of losing the so-called Whiteprivilege.  Fear of loss touches on almost everything you can name.  This is all because of the psychology of fear.  We are not as free as our Constitution allows.

We fear those different than us.  What was once a defense mechanism is now a flaw.

We are conditioned to fear.  We learn fear.  We are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid that a black man will kill us.  The myth of the predatory Black man has been used to instill fear in whites and to justify their brutality and violence against Black individuals, communities and continents since the 1600’s. The narrative has been passed down from one generation to the next and is still used to underwrite injustice against Black people.

We project this fear.  Have you ever heard of projection?  That is when one accuses someone of having traits they refuse to acknowledge in themselves.

The behavior of people around us also can influence our responses to threats. You ever see people run because everyone else is running?  It is a smart response to crime prevention.

“Fear has a certain contagious feature to it, so the fear in others can elicit fear in ourselves. It’s conditioning.  We come into the world knowing how to be afraid, because our brains have evolved to deal with nature.”

The truth is this is sad.  This has happened before.  Fear and perception cloud our judgements.  Until I started to look “older” I used to cause quite a few people to move fast across the street, lock car doors when I approached or clutch their wallets/purses.  I have been followed in the stores.  I have been accused of “casing” a place while shopping.  This is our society.  I know that all it takes is one bad apple to make us accuse thousands of people in any group.

WTH do we do now?  How can we stop this?  How can we keep our nation together?  How do we stop it from happening tomorrow?

I want to hear your opinions.    But really think about what I said.   The tragic killing of people that scare us, isn’t new.  Don’t restate the problem?   What do you suggest we do to solve this?

 

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. You can support this podcast at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun

From A Distance

Disclaimer: This has nothing at all to do with guns or politics.  I’m taking a break from that for a moment.

While traipsing around the internet recently, I stumbled across this website:

Open the page, and you’ll see a large red blob. But zoom in a little closer, and you’ll find that the red blob is composed of small red symbols shaped like little buildings.

Click on one of those symbols, and you’ll find that it represents a building which has suffered more than 50% damage in  the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.

In the information window which appears when you click the little red symbol, you’ll see a link to an attached JPG image. Click on that, and the next thing you see will be a photo of a home or a business which has in most cases been burned to the foundation.

This is what that one small red symbol represents. Click the one next to it, and you’ll see the same thing. And the one next to that. And the one next to that. And so on, and so on. All you see is a big red blob…from a distance. Get close, and you see devastated individual lives.

I’m not going to debate the politics or practicalities of wildfire control and management here. We can do that another day. And you can make your own decisions about charitable giving, but I’ve made mine. I’ll be finding a reputable charitable organization and giving a little bit of what I have to someone who used to live in one of those little red symbols.

Changing firearm practices within the state of Georgia

ATL Georgia

 

Gun laws in the United States have changed over the years, federally and in many states including Georgia. Of course, the most famous gun law in the country is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, in 1934, the first piece of legislation to control gun sales was enacted, inspired by outcries over widely-publicized shootings. Further gun control laws passed Congress in 1968, 1993, and 1994, although some major court cases did work to successfully challenge restrictive bans.

Gun control laws are becoming stricter in many parts of the country, but Georgia actually has new laws protecting gun owners’ rights in more locations in the state. Georgia follows federal gun laws, but it does not require permits for long guns or background checks for individual gun sales.

There are many active firearms owners and advocates for gun rights in Georgia, and it is important that they understand how the changing laws affect them.

One of the laws that benefits Georgia gun owners is the Stand Your Ground law. This law aims to protect people who exercise their fundamental right to protect themselves in their own homes. The law is designed to stop people from being charged criminally if they kill an attacker while protecting themselves or another person.

The principle behind the law has long roots in Georgia law. In 1898, the state Supreme Court ruled that people have a right to use deadly force if their own life is in danger. Previously they were required to attempt to escape before deadly force could legally be used.

While the principles may date back over a century, the modern Stand Your Ground law was enacted in 2006, and its constitutionality has been reviewed at a federal level.

Since the law was passed, the number of related deaths has nearly doubled, from 7 annually to 13. The laws are sometimes criticized for promoting violent confrontation rather than de-escalation. More commonly, they are criticized not for their intent but for their application, particularly allegations of racial bias directed at police and prosecutors.

The law applies to anyone who believes his or her life to be in danger. People have the right to kill to defend themselves, and the shooting can be considered a justifiable homicide. However, police and prosecutors may not side with a self-defense claim, so people still may face aggravated assault or even murder charges. The Stand Your Ground law helps criminal defense lawyers for those facing charges to present a strong defense.

Additionally, the law can help crime victims protect their rights. One famous application of the law helped a man subject to an armed carjacking protect his rights after he shot and killed the man who was threatening his life. People can feel more secure about defending themselves and their loved ones when they know there is legislation that backs up their rights.

In 2014, Georgia revised its gun laws to expand protection for gun owners who carry their firearms in public. The Safe Carry Protection Act allows gun owner to bring their firearms to bars, churches, government buildings, airports, and even schools.

Many of the rules are subject to local legislation or a building’s owner, however. In addition, the law eliminated fingerprinting as a requirement for a firearms carry license and prevented the state from maintaining a database of licensed gun owners.

The law can help people to go about their business as gun owners who regularly engage in concealed carry. Rather than needing to lock away their gun where they won’t be able to reach it in an emergency, people will be able to defend themselves during an attack in a bar. In addition, people who go to the airport and forget to leave their gun behind can pick it up later; they won’t face criminal prosecution for a simple mistake.

The most recent update to Georgia’s gun laws is HB 280, passed in 2017. The law allows gun owners to carry on the campuses of public colleges and universities in the state. Bucking the trend toward increased gun control, Georgia’s legislature backed increased rights for the state’s 1-million licensed gun owners.

While licensed owners can carry concealed guns on any university property, they’re still forbidden from carrying in dormitories, sorority or fraternity houses, gated daycare facilities, private offices, and in classrooms with high school students.

Once again, the law prevents law-abiding, gun-owning college students from facing prosecution or disciplinary charges from coming to school with their firearm. In the worst-case scenario, gun owners can use their skill and training to protect others from an armed attacker on campus.

Gun laws are always in flux, and it can be important to consult with a lawyer to better understand your rights, especially if you’ve been involved in a self-defense incident. However, Georgia continues to be a state with strong and expanding protections for the people’s right to bear arms.

 

 

J. Blake Ledbetter is a partner at the law firm of Conoscienti & Ledbetter in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Ledbetter possesses significant experience with Uber accident lawsuits and a range of legal issues involving rideshare drivers and riders. Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil trial practice, specifically in the areas of business law, corporate law, contract law and personal injury law.