Posted: 10:36 am Monday, March 17th, 2014

One version of gun bill would let felons claim ‘stand your ground’ status 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

guns2

State Reps. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, center, and Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, right, in a 2013 AJC file photo. For the last two years, the two lawmakers have been major advocates of attempts to increase the places where permit holders can carry concealed weaponry.

Over the weekend, a New York Times editorial decried the continuing influence of the gun lobby in state capitols. In particular, the newspaper’s editors seized on HB 875, now under consideration by the state Senate:

In Georgia, for instance, a pernicious bill approved by the House authorizes an array of dangerous laissez-faire gun provisions. One would allow convicted felons who kill someone with an illegally possessed gun to seek justification under the state’s Stand Your Ground law. A second would allow concealed guns on college campuses, despite the opposition of 78 percent of polled Georgians.

Last week, state lawmakers gave up on the campus-carry provision of HB 875. But allowing convicted felons to claim self-defense? Opponents of the bill point to this obscure passage contained in the original legislation:

guns1

Their focus is on the “or 3″ that has been deleted above. The measure as written, in other words, would eliminate exceptions – adding to those who would be immune from prosecution in cases of self-defense. What/who does the deleted Part 3 apply to? Convicted felons, for one thing. Those who bring weapons onto nuclear facility gounds for another.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe above language is missing from the current version of HB 875. The question is whether the phrasing has also been erased from the version that was attached to HB 60 – which has not yet been updated on the official website to reflect the House decision to attach HB 875’s innards to it.

Updated: Just got back from the House clerk’s office. HB 60, with the language of HB 875 attached, does in fact include the above language, which would appear to allow convicted felons to avoid prosecution for the use of deadly force by invoking Georgia’s self-defense statutes.

But they are still not allowed to vote.

***

Five months ago today, the U.S. government reopened after a 16-day shutdown. Many Georgia lawmakers said they would forswear their paychecks during the impasse, but how many followed through?

Following an extensive Washington Post report on the matter, we followed up with the Georgia delegation, and here’s the breakdown:

– Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville: Donated a total of $5,200 to three local charities — a home for the handicapped, a rape crisis center and a facility for disabled children.

– Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta: Gave $5,936 to the Augusta Warrior Project for wounded members of the armed services.

– Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta: Gave $5,049.76 back to the U.S. Treasury.

– Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah: Donated between $7,500 and $8,000 to Christ Church Anglican, his home church. (His office would not say when the donation was made, so it could have come after reporters started asking if he’d followed through on his pledge.)

– Another five lawmakers said they would forego pay during the shutdown and sent letters to the chief administrative officer of the U.S. House asking for their pay to be withheld until it was over.

This had no real effect, since members of Congress are paid monthly and the shutdown only lasted 16 days. The withholders were: Reps. Paul Broun, R-Athens; Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville; Lynn Westmoreland, R-Coweta County; Austin Scott, R-Tifton; Tom Graves, R-Ranger.

Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, had indicated he would forego his pay, but he did not. Said his chief of staff, Michael Andel: “The office was open every day and he fought to open the government. Then, federal employees received back pay.”

The rest of the delegation never foreswore their paychecks.

**

State Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, nominated for a federal judgeship, is still taking heat from liberal groups. One aspect of the scrutiny is on his 2004 vote in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Georgia, and the statements that accompanied the vote.

Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, in a missive to the mailing list of NARAL Pro-Choice America registered his shock at the “anti-marriage equality” pick by the president, among other criticisms.

But Scott also voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage that same year in the U.S. House, which fell short of the required two-thirds support.

Michael Andel, Scott’s chief of staff, pointed out that the congressman has since come around and declared his support for same-sex marriage, while Boggs has made no public indication that his views have changed on the issue.

A Fulton County Daily Report article last month quoted from Boggs’ application for a state appellate court seat, to which he was appointed in 2012 by Gov. Nathan Deal. Boggs expressed a “desire to ‘re-establish our courts as protectors of the Constitution, not partisan refuges for policy makers.” He also cited a requirement that any law clerk he hired should ‘share my conservative judicial philosophy.’”

***

Need a sign that tea party forces are still uneasy with the GOP establishment in Georgia?

Local tea party leader Debbie Dooley posted on Facebook that Gov. Nathan Deal “is hurting his chances” by opposing the so-called religious freedom bills that were scuttled this month. She later deleted the post, but not before several folks sent the text our way:

“Conservatives wouldn’t have to vote for Jason Carter to hurt Gov. Deal. They could hurt by simply not voting for that office. People discounting Jason Carter’s chances are fools.”

***

At the state Capitol, a hearing on the proposed cities of Lakeside and Tucker will be conducted by the House Governmental Affairs Committee at 3:30 p.m. in Room 606 of the Legislative Office Building.

From an email blast by Mary Kay Woodworth of the Lakeside Alliance:

“We have arrived at a critical crossroads in the cityhood process.  You have a final opportunity to influence the elected officials who will decide whether you get a chance to vote on cityhood.  The Legislature will make a final decision this coming Monday.  You will not get another chance to make your voice heard.

“As we reported earlier this week, Rep. John Meadows, the powerful House Rules Committee chairman, successfully moved to table SB 270.  Now, only two legislative days remain for the Legislature to move forward on the bill as it passed the Senate or in the form of a proposed compromise.  If you do nothing, then you risk losing the ability to vote on cityhood.

 “Here is what you need to do.  Please contact all of the legislators listed at the bottom of this email, but especially Chairman Meadows to ask to exercise your right to vote….”

Only Republican lawmakers were listed.

***

While her GOP rivals duke it out, Michelle Nunn has been quietly raking in contributions from out-of-state Democratic heavyweights.

Donors attended fundraisers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle over the weekend to raise cash for Nunn and several other female Democratic Senate candidates.

We’ve already told you about the in-state fundraiser she’s holding on March 20, just as the legislative session winds down, featuring Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Now comes word about another bash for Nunn is set for March 24 in the Windy City, where Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s wife, Amy Rule, is among the co-hosts.

***

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that a funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at noon for Howard “Bo” Callaway at Christ the King Catholic Church in Pine Mountain, Ga. From the newspaper:

The former Republican congressman and Secretary of the Army died Saturday at age 86 at Spring Harbor Assisted Living in Columbus, nearly two years after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. He was also well known for helping his parents, Cason and Virginia Hand Callaway, get Callaway Gardens in nearby Pine Mountain, Ga., up and running six decades ago.

A private interment will follow the Mass.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

In celebration of Callaway’s life, a memorial organ concert will be held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens.

79 comments
BravesFan79
BravesFan79

And 2 all you whiney liberals who say Stand Your Ground is "Racist"... you do know that blacks living in areas infested with nig*** MUST and DO use Stand your Ground to their advantage right!??   Or perhaps youve never visited a place after dark where 1 in every 13 residents is a victim of Violent Crime every year like College Park.   Go crawl back to your whole in your gated community, and leave the self-defense issues to those of us who work, and live in dangerous areas.  

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

As a 5 time survivor of black violent crime in Atlanta, trust me... Stand Your Ground is JUST as important . and even more so used by Blacks, than is it Whites!    
And of course a former Felon should be able to use Stand Your Ground laws.  As human beings we all have a right to protect ourselves and our families!  

BigHat
BigHat

Stand Your Ground...just a fancy way to say Shoot Your Negro. 

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

Amazing at the grasp to restrict, prohibit and ban lawful weapons carry.


The same argument that was utilized to prevent "lawful carry" on our public transit system (Marta), to prevent lawful carry in our non-sterile areas of our airports, to prevent lawful possession in our cars; dropping of the kids at school, parking at our jobs and same tired argument to prevent lawful carry in our parks.... ALL LEGAL FOR YEARS!!!


Lawfully carry holders have been attacked by gun prohibition groups like New York's Bloomberg/MAIG and since their failure in Colorado to prevent the recall/firing of 3 Democrat Senators their subsidiary Mom's Who Demand Action (who delete and ban any opposing views), Gabby's Georgia Gun (non) Sense Coalition as well as other failing anti-gun organizations (Brady and VPC). They use the same argument that was used to prevent "shall carry laws" and after McDonald vs. Chicago all states MUST have some form of concealed carry and these groups are becoming desperate. Never were they well known for honestly or integrity but this latest dissemination of half-truths, misinformation and just plain lies has exceeded any expectations of how low they could possibly sink, and the naïve eagerly follow their "feelings".


GA's Mom's in 14 months collected a bit over 950 likes on facebook. Recent upstart Stop Mom's Who Demand Action obtained more than 2,500 likes in a week on facebook.  [URL="https://www.facebook.com/stopmomsdemandaction?notif_t=page_invite_accepted"]https://www.facebook.com/stopmomsdemandaction?notif_t=page_invite_accepted[/URL]



An infection of idiocy over stand your ground laws spawned by racist is voicing its ignorance. One really should attempt to make a informed opinion rather than a formed opinion based on stupidity. Just why did most states honestly enact stand your ground laws-what was the trigger? Who do stand your ground laws protect? Why were they required and whom forced the laws to be enacted? Honestly answer these questions without bias and if one still considers stand your ground law a bad idea then you are hopelessly lost and their is no help.


Take 48 minutes and educate yourself on SYG laws or continue remaining ignorant and used as a tool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPEEeOFSnxE


The AJC editor's wife helped formed the GA chapter of Mom's Who Demand Action-the subsidiary of New York's MAIG (Bloomberg) and the AJC commissions a poll, by a New York company to conduct a gun poll of around 800 people? No mention of the recent independent Georgia polls that were overwhelmingly pro-gun rights and supported campus carry.


It's a matter of public safety! Really? Are lawful carry holders a liability and threat to public safety? Are they? Just how often are the news links to guns in schools and shootings in "gun free zones" committed by lawful carry holders? Can't come up with one? I'm sure there is at least one but how many permits have be revoked of the over 8 million issued in our nation? It's less than 1% and of that most are for non-violent offenses. Feeling safe out of pure fear and ignorance is incredibly stupid and will come at the cost of honest public safety but honestly is in rare supply with these folks and their gun phobia.


The links for the codes: http://www.georgiapacking.org/GaCode...r=3§ion=21

O.C.G.A. § 16-3-21
Use of force in defense of self or others; evidence of belief that force was necessary in murder or manslaughter prosecution

O.C.G.A. § 16-3-23
Use of force in defense of habitation

O.C.G.A. § 16-3-23.1
No duty to retreat prior to use of force in self-defense

O.C.G.A. § 16-3-24
Use of force in defense of property other than a habitation


"This week’s folly from the Moms comes in the form of a Tweet in which they claim HB875/HB60 would give “felons a license to kill.” As unexpected as it sounds, the Moms have been watching too many Bond films.

The errors in the Moms’ Tweet are numerous. First, they apparently don’t realize that convicted felons, like all people in the state, can make use of the self-defense laws in this state. Yes, Moms, much as you hate the idea of a person defending himself against a violent attack, even felons can do so, and even while they still are in prison. And, if the circumstances fit, they can even claim (GASP!) that they had no duty to retreat.

Second, Moms, the bills do nothing to change the felony on the books against felons possessing firearms. Much as you like to advertise otherwise, a felon who carries a gun still can be prosecuted for being a felon in possession of a firearm, even under the language of the bills. Darn it, those facts got in your way again.

Lastly, Moms, the bills only marginally have any relationship to what you like to call stand your ground. You see, Moms, not every use of self defense involves the duty to retreat or lack thereof. And, much as you obviously do not know (unless you purposefully lie about it over and over), Georgia has never had a duty to retreat, just as the large majority of states in the country never have.

Jim Galloway, if you’re out there, felons in Georgia can vote after they serve their sentences. But they still can’t carry guns."



In the hands of the unscrupulous, ignorance is a powerful tool and there are a lot of tools here it appears.


ThomasPain
ThomasPain

Jim,

Felons are allowed to vote after they complete their sentences.

And it is still illegal for any felon to be in possession of a firearm. Even with this new law.

Please stop with the fear mongering, you really should know better.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

RIP, Bo.  Condolences to the family.

Mustang100
Mustang100

Bosstone, it's a totally different political landscape now. Toss out the Republican and Democrat  labels, because in reality there is the Political Class (including the Leftist Liberal corrupt media and social parasites who support them and keep them in power) and the WORKING CLASS, upon whose backs and hard labors they tax and prey upon, and sic the IRS dogs on if they cry out.

Bosstone
Bosstone

"Local tea party leader Debbie Dooley posted on Facebook that Gov. Nathan Deal “is hurting his chances” by opposing the so-called religious freedom bills that were scuttled this month."

This is why Debbie Dooley is absolutely fake regarding the tea party.  Anybody here will not confuse me for being right-wing, but I honestly used to (proudly) call myself a libertarian.  The way I still see it, aside from "left" and "right" there is also "social" and "fiscal".  I am very socially left, but more conservative fiscally.  Initially, when the tea party came to be...their first arguments were based on government spending and taxes.  These arguments, although you may not agree with them, DO MAKE SENSE.  

When the current incantation of the tea party argues for these "religious freedom" bills (that are 100% for the purpose of discriminating against gay individuals), you lose your making sense credibility that I talked about in paragraph #2.  

Don't get me wrong...it is perfectly acceptable to argue for these bills, but you are certainly not doing it with the original argument and philosophy of the tea party...you are now arguing as a member of the religious right.  Period.  

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

Why not just follow the Constitution ? .......... the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

mrob
mrob

Stated by The New York Times in the above link is that justifiable-homicide cases rose 83 percent in Georgia, where the House’s deplorable gun bill has now moved to the Senate, where the gun lobby is busily at work. Georgians should stand up for sanity and rebuff the latest threat to public safety from lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The 1970-1978 and 1983-1995 was some AWESOME years in Georgia. Freedom was paramount, enjoyable, and plentiful. It was very easy and comfortable to board a Eastern Airline and enjoy the view of America friendly skies without many fears from above.


As night fall, The colorful flashing night clubs lights would filled Atlanta city skyline as many Georgians and travels enjoyed the freedom of "ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE" from 8 to sun rise without a gun fight.


The city of Atlanta, during that period was a "NATIONAL ICON" for a progressive American under democratic leadership, meanwhile DC was desperately trying to find ways to keep guns off their streets.


The late major Atlanta Maynard Jackson, a very smart man, would be seen on national TV and on TV around the world speaking about a progressive, beautiful Atlanta where people around the world would someday would love to call Atlanta their home.


Jobs was plentiful and I remember as a single person making nearly 40,000.00 per year in the early 1990's.

Many employed people was happy to know that Georgia understood their worth and a majority was fairly compensated for their worth, Hmm, not mow.


Now those years are behind us and a dangerous element of red colored, Christian right-wing politicians with strong financial funding from many corporate and private ill-advised dangerous donors are trying their best to fill our streets with "dirty blood" by allowing guns in places that Governor Zell Miller and many past governors never thought to even consider.  Shame on Georgia, The NRA, Nathan Deal, and the new American terrorists, "The Christian right-wing" to incite conservatism.


Georgia is split and will remain that way forever, just maybe someday Atlanta may become a state of it's own, known as the "KING State". 


I never thought of Atlanta becoming a State, but now I will support this measure. Let the Terrorist have their state with all their guns and gun laws to incite a threat and danger to public safety for as long as we may live.


Red states are dangerous states with lawmakers equally dangerous to enact dangerous laws to drive home a point to exhibit conservatism---mrob

honested
honested

Hopefully the last gasp of 'municipalization mania' will wriggle to stillness this afternoon.


Then ALL Citizens can revisit the real costs of Civilization and the real responsibilities for participating in one's community...


Or they can keep blaming 'those people' while standing their ground.

CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

If you like your gun you can keep your gun, period. But felons have no business toting weapons. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

America has had her Liberty Patriots and The Greatest Generation. Now we have the most FEARFUL

Generation. Whatever happened to Home of The Brave?

Bernie31
Bernie31

Why NOT Felons? For there are many in the Gold Dome, as we speak. The Difference is they just have NOT been CONVICTED...... YET!

petel
petel

The so-called religious freedom bill would do irreparable damage to our economy and job creation.  Businesses are simply not going to come to a state that discriminates against its citizens.  I thought the tea party was all about the economy.  This bill would allow me to discriminate against Jews, blacks, Asians, anybody who I said would be contrary to my religious beliefs. It is a terrible, hateful piece of legislation, and would give our state a huge black eye.  No way to grow the economy and jobs. Of all the stupid bills our legislature has proposed this one and the one that give felons the right to carry firearms are two of the stupidest.   

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

It is unclear to me what these people are attempting to accomplish.  If someone has facts - please explain.  We have seen the unnecessary murder of unarmed teenagers repeatedly in our country by people - similar to those pictured - over-weight, out-of-shape, aging white males.  We know that gun owners are well documented to commit significantly more murders than non gun owners, are twice as likely to be murdered, and 3 times as likely to commit suicide (Univ Penn LDI Issue Brief 2003;8(8), 1-4; Ann Int Med, Jan, 2014).  Therefore, there is certainly no safety advantage or peace-keeping advantage to having these armed fellows in our midst.  Because they have not received a thorough psychological evaluation, it appears evident, on the surface, that those with personality disorders - paranoia, racist, sadist, bullies, chronic anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc. are more likely to feel the need to carry a concealed weapon, and - unfortunately - most likely to jump up at the most inappropriate time firing off rounds.  Certainly, the majority of society is opposed to this outdated and unnecessary proliferation of firearms.  It is bad for all of us and particularly bad in attempting to attract large corporations to Georgia (Did not Boeing say that a new aircraft factory in Cobb county would not work because of cultural differences?)  We need to attend to these issues.  

An0n
An0n

@Jim

I just scanned my copy of HB 60 (LC 29 6007S AM 41 0040), and the language you cited above is present in the bill, which means that the exceptions established in that part of the Code would be eliminated.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Polls and the media. Does the New York Times care that fully 70+ percent of Americans consistently tell pollsters that immigration numbers should be reduced?

Or how about the majority opposed to Obamacare?

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@ThomasPain  


Maybe we should repeal that prohibition, too.  Ex-cons have paid their debt to society and have a right to defend themselves, too.



Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Mustang100  


Yeah, welcome to America...this is the way things have been since Reagan.

Caius
Caius

@Bosstone  

Couple of good points in your comment.  As I recall the TEA in Tea Party was claimed to mean "Taxed Enough Already".  Currently you rarely hear anyone connected with the various Tea Parties push "taxes and spending" to the top of their agenda.

 

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@tomkat1111  


And those "arms" are much different today.  But, as Scalia said, in the Heller decision, states have a reasonable and expected right to regulate the types of firearms and accessories they choose to (as well as who can have them). 


Caius
Caius

@tomkat1111  

No where in the 2nd Amendment, or anywhere else in the Constitution, does it say that criminals cannot "keep and bear" firearms/weapons. That was done by people not following the constitution.

honested
honested

@tomkat1111  

Only if along with that simplistic consideration, you accept all of the established court precedents and legitimate regulations that followed.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@tomkat1111 Good point. The drug cartels are, ofter all, a well-regulated militia. Their members should be allowed to have all the armaments they desire, regardless of criminal records.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@CreamofBuckwheat So you're saying a felon can keep their gun if they like it, they just have no business toting it?  I'm sure that contradiction in terms makes sense to you.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@Bernie31  


Most fearful? I think not.


This generation is about liberty and justice for all.  It takes a lot of courage to stand up against armed bigots who wanted nothing more than to make up laws rooted in religion and discriminate against the LGBT community and other minorities.


You sir, are a coward.  Have you learned nothing from the Greatest Generation's fight against conservatives in Europe?

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Bernie31  

Still unemployed and unemployable, Bernie? And still blaming others for it?

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Sigh...

I wonder if any other blogger is as woefully mis-named as you.

Once again, the only reason a majority is opposed to Obamacare is because a significant number of those folks want single payer.

And a majority of Americans consistently state that they don't want the law repealed, just fixed.

Difficult truths for you to handle, I know, but them's the facts.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@Baumer_1 @ThomasPain



There is supposedly a process for a felon to restore rights but if you're a commoner it just doesn't exist. However, if you're politically connected your rights can be restored by a pardon.


So rights should never be restored to a felon (jail >1year). Is that your suggestion?

honested
honested

@collegeballfan @Bosstone 

Could it be that the average American was never 'taxed enough already' and those at the top didn't wand to acknowledge how much their tax burden had already decreased?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@CreamofBuckwheat
 Can't wait for the next gun fight to break out on the streets of Miami between two drug cartels . No one can be prosecuted because they were all 'standing their ground."

Bernie31
Bernie31

,

@EdUktr @Bernie31The Voodoo Priestess says for every negative comment from You to me, print it out, slice it into small pieces and burn it with sulfur.         She too will be working her special magic for you too! I sent her some from previous postings. You should soon start to get warm, very soon. Keep me posted. Ps -watch out for those Big Rigs! they can be Tricky!

uh..huh.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@EdUktr @Bernie31- Have you had your Prostrate checked yet? The Voodoo Priestest I have been paying said Your discomfort should start about NOW!

Your Wife says it doesn't matter for you are already DEAD in that Department. have been for years.


Happy Trails.....

EdUktr
EdUktr

@CherokeeCounty  

And you probably also want to believe last week's stinging Democrat defeat in the Florida Congressional election ... was due to voters "upset about missing out on single-payer."


Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31- Yep, went to see yer little sister on that POLE! The crowd was throwing Quarters at her scrawny

Butt. We are waiting yer Mom's performance, I do not expect much there either.

uh...huh.

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31


Bernie...looks like you been hitting that Cleveland Avenue Kush a little early today?

uh..huh

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@honested @EdUktr@CherokeeCounty when is Obama coming to Georgia to campaign for Nunn? He's not? I am shocked, shocked I tell you.


When will he be in North Carolina, LA. or Arkansas? The dem incumbents don't want the President to campaign for them? Again I am shocked.

honested
honested

@EdUktr @CherokeeCounty 

Just review the Tuesday morning statement from the rncc (republican national criminal committee) suggesting that nothing should be read into that special election. That statement was of course written when he thought they would lose!