Georgia GOP lawmakers unveil basically the gun bill to end all gun bills

‘We want to remind Congress that they don’t have the right to violate the Second Amendment’


  • Courtesy Tom Kirby
  • State Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Loganville

It was no secret that Second Amendment advocates would call for legislation allowing gun owners to carry firearms on college campuses. But several GOP state lawmakers have a more, how do you say, comprehensive proposal - one that would nullify future federal firearms regulations in Georgia.

State Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Loganville, has introduced a new bill that would significantly limit the impact of future federal gun regulations across the state. If passed, the measure would prohibit public officials and firearms dealers from complying with federal firearms laws or regulations “relating to a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition that is sold, owned, or manufactured commercially or privately in Georgia.”

The proposal - also sponsored by State Reps. Delvis Dutton of Glennville, Paulette Braddock of Powder Springs, Kevin Cooke of Carrollton, David Stover of Newnan, and Trey Kelley of Cedartown - specifically attempts to override semi-automatic, magazine clip, and gun sales restrictions handed down from Washington, D.C. Kirby’s measure even empowers state Attorney General Sam Olens to defend Georgians in a federal prosecution, should they be charged with federal gun law violations for alleged crimes inside state borders.

Kirby tells CL that the national gun control debate in Washington prompted him to introduce the bill. Over the past few years, he says his constituents have expressed concerns over the way some federal lawmakers have “chipped away or eroded” the constitutional rights enacted by the nation’s founding fathers.

“It’s sad that we need a bill like this,” Kirby says. “We want to remind Congress that they don’t have the right to violate the Second Amendment more than anyone else.”

State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who last year unsuccessfully advocated for a statewide assault weapon ban, tells CL that Kirby’s bill “flies in the face” of past U.S. Supreme Court precedents that have already laid out state rights for gun regulations. Fort thinks Georgia should play a greater role in enacting gun-safety measures because of that decision, not loosening laws further to make a political point.

“It’s unfortunate when people need health care, jobs, and affordable housing, it’s unfortunate that this right-wing crowd making these kind of extremist, ideological statements,” Fort says.

According to Kirby, state Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, has agreed to schedule the bill for an upcoming House Judiciary Committee hearing.