Political Insider blog 

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

Nathan Deal stresses ‘positive changes’ in gun bill he’ll sign today

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation today that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms, a proposal that has drawn heaps of praise and scorn from outside groups. Deal, though, prefers the focus be on the “significant positive changes” that sapped some of the more contentious parts of the bill.

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, allows Georgians to legally carry firearms in a wide range of new places, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the [More]

Jason Carter: Gun bill a solution for ‘geographically polarized’ communities

  • 1:05 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

State Sen. Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, was on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” this morning to talk about his race against Republican incumbent Nathan Deal.

Amidst the routine questions was one that has puzzled many of Carter’s Democratic supporters, even in Georgia. Why did you vote for H.B. 60, the expansive gun bill that Deal will sign on Wednesday? Chuck Todd asked.

What follows is what we think is Carter’s most expansive explanation on the topic so far:

Carter: “I think the Second Amendment is important to many people in Georgia. And I know a lot of national Democrats and [More]

Nathan Deal to sign sweeping gun bill next week

  • 4:05 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal plans to sign legislation next week that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms.

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, would expand where Georgians may legally carry firearms, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the state’s “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened.

Gun rights groups cheered the news that Deal would sign the measure, which critics have dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill, on Wednesday at a north Georgia event. GeorgiaCarry.org, which [More]

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]