Rep. Steven Sainz provides citizen guidance on Georgia Constitutional Carry Act

ATLANTA, Ga. — State Representative Steven Sainz (R-St. Marys) is seeking to provide citizens with guidance on Senate Bill 319, the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021.

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Signed into law on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, SB 319 repeals the requirement for a weapons carry license for those who are eligible to possess and carry a firearm.

“Our state now has a common sense policy in place that backs our right to bear arms,” said Rep. Sainz. “Don’t be fooled by those who disparage any move to protect our Second Amendment rights. Those who are eligible to obtain a weapons carry license can now carry their weapons without a permit in Georgia. While this bill protects the rights of law abiding citizens, law enforcement will also utilize every tool they have, and more, to ensure dangerous criminals cannot access firearms through legal channels.”

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Under SB 319, citizens who are currently eligible to obtain a weapons carry license (WCL) are considered a “lawful weapons carrier,” and these individuals will be granted the same ability to carry as an individual with a concealed carry permit.

Individuals who are not eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit under the new law, such as someone with a felony conviction, are not allowed to carry a weapon and can be prosecuted for doing so.

Additionally, House Bill 218 was passed and signed into law this year, and this legislation allows reciprocity for any state’s weapons carry license, as long as the holder carries according to Georgia’s laws.

The bill also requires the attorney general to enter into a reciprocity agreement with any state that requires one in order to recognize and give effect to a Georgia-issued license in their state.

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The regulations outlined in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act still apply. These regulations ban firearms transfers to persons convicted of serious crimes or persons committed to a mental institution and mandate all Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers to conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check System at the sale of a firearm.

Rep. Sainz also seeks to ensure that his constituents, many of whom live along the Georgia-Florida border, can exercise their Second Amendment right in Florida and other neighboring states. Rep. Sainz encourages the Florida legislature to pass legislation similar to SB 319 and HB 218.

Rep. Sainz has reached out “across the river” to Florida State Representative Cord Byrd (R-Nassau), who was recently named Florida’s next secretary of state. Rep. Cord Byrd has also expressed support for legislation to remove permitting fees from preventing citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right.

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Georgia will maintain its weapons carry licensing program due to reciprocity laws, and as such, Georgians who want to carry in states such as Florida should continue to renew their license.

Georgians can carry a weapon without a WCL in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.