Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns

Atlanta Braves tighten gun policy at Turner Field

  • 10:06 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Sure, they can do this in Atlanta. The question is whether it will fly in Cobb County. From Channel 2 Action News:

Here’s the quick recap from the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.

Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.

Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins tells WSB-TV that the policy change will make the ball games less safe, adding that “armed good guys stop armed bad guys.”

Jerry Henry, [More]

Jason Carter as an ‘NRA Democrat’

  • 9:30 am Friday, March 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last week, when the state Senate had its final vote on The bill is now before Gov. Nathan Deal. We’ll let Jeanne Bonner with Georgia Public Broadcasting pick up the thread:

Deal has said pointedly that the legislation is not “part of his agenda” but he’s expected to sign it. Carter, whose family has South Georgia roots, brushed off questions about the bill by saying he’s an “NRA Democrat.”

GPB reached out to several long-term Democrats who said they’re not familiar with that phrase. One political expert mused that Carter may be taking his cue from an ad Democratic Congressman John [More]

NSA head tells Jimmy Carter he can ‘go back to writing emails’

  • 8:30 am Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The outgoing director of the National Security Agency went on FoxNews with a message for former President Jimmy Carter: We’re not snooping around your emails.

You may recall that Carter told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he’s resorted to old-fashioned letters to communicate “

Gen. Keith Alexander told Carter he can abandon the stamps and ink if he wants. From the Fox interview:

“We’re not [monitoring the emails],” Alexander said. “So he can now go back to writing emails. The reality is, we don’t do that. And if we did, it would be illegal and we’d be … held accountable [More]

Gun law specifics: Cops can’t stop suspects for unlawful carrying

  • 2:10 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The content of HB 60, the omnibus gun bill passed by the Legislature last Thursday, is finally available online and in hard copy at the state Capitol.

Peruse the measure for yourself by clicking here.

Two areas are likely to spark some controversy. First, there’s a requirement that holders of concealed weapons permits must have that license on their persons when they carry. Which is immediately followed by the caveat that cops aren’t allowed to stop anyone solely to check for that permit:

(a) Every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession [More]

A legislative session built around two different elections comes to an end

  • 10:29 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The photo below, taken and Tweeted by Jeanne Bonner of Georgia Public Broadcasting, shows a momentarily estranged pair of likely November foes — and neatly sums up the theme of Sine Die in the state Capitol.

It was all about setting the table for the 2014 election season. Those struggling to boost their chances in Republican primaries vied with Republicans who are more worried about a Democratic resurgence in November.

Twenty-four of 119 Republican state lawmakers face May 20 primary opposition. Five of 36 GOP senators have primary opposition. So does Gov. Nathan Deal.

But the governor also has a well-funded Jason Carter [More]

The death knell for campus carry this year?

  • 7:21 pm Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal said he was opposed to a late charge in the House that would legalize the carrying of guns on college campuses in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session.

Deal said in an interview he had “indicated all along that I prefer that campus carry not be in any legislation.” His staff has been quietly hashing out a compromise between dueling House and Senate bills that would loosen gun restrictions.

The latest House push would allow permit holders to carry guns onto college campuses, but not into dorms or athletic events. The bill would also allow churches to [More]

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

  • 10:36 am Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

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,

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.

The above language is missing from the current version of HB 875. The question is [More]

Kasim Reed on Port of Savannah discord: ‘Let’s not get pulled into this crap’

  • 9:55 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

In his first public remarks on the White House decision not to include cash in its annual budget proposal last week for an expansion of the Port of Savannah, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told local business leaders and civic leaders not to give in to partisan heckling. According to Reed, first the U.S. Congress must reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 to update the project estimates of the Savannah port deepening project to $652 million. Currently the Water Resources Development Act is in a Congressional conference committee.

Had the president put the Savannah port in his budget before the [More]

Get your copy here: New version of HB 875 gives up on campus carry

  • 1:40 pm Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Just as a Senate committee began taking up HB 875 on Tuesday, the House offered a surprise compromise by giving up on an attempt to decriminalize the carrying of concealed weapons on public university campuses.

Permit holders would still be able to carry concealed weaponry in houses of worship and bars.

From our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

The Georgia House on Tuesday added a new route to adopting gun legislation and simultaneously pulled the plug on a provision that would decriminalize the carrying of guns on college campuses.

 In a surprise move, the House voted to change House Bill 60 to include [More]

Legislative Tip Sheet: Of left-lane lurkers and liquor

  • 10:30 am Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The countdown is on to the legislative session’s final day and lawmakers are lurching to another jam-packed ending. The calendar on Tuesday, though, is light as ever.

The Senate will vote on a measure that would make it illegal to clog the passing lane, allowing cops to punish left-lane lurkers with a misdemeanor.

Over in the House, lawmakers will decide whether to allow nonprofit museums to make liquor. The force behind that legislation? The Atlanta History Center apparently wants to build a still to recreate a historic setting.

But some of the biggest action is reserved for the committees. At 1 [More]