Georgia: Gun and knife reform bill signed into law

Legislation described by gun rights advocates as a “clean-up bill” was signed into law this week by Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Deal approved the proposal, HB 292, which makes a host of changes to the Peachtree State’s gun and knife laws on Monday along with a host of other bills without comment. The measure passed the House 110-49 and the Senate 37-16 in March and had been on Deal’s desk since April 5.

The 11-page measure, which took effect on signing, prevents banks and lenders from discriminating against gun dealers and manufacturers in the state which is home to Daniel Defense, Dead Air Silencers and newly expanding German gun maker HK as well as over 3,800 Federal Firearms Licensees.

The package allows those moving to Georgia from other states to keep their home state’s concealed carry permit for up to 90 days and allows sportsmen who are hunting or fishing to carry without a permit. The act further provides a route for those involuntarily hospitalized to restore their gun rights as well as extends liability protection for firearms instructors.

In a nod to knife rights, HB 292 extends the ability to carry a blade up to 12-inches long, an increase from five inches. With Blade Show, billed as the world’s largest knife show held in Atlanta this summer, the move is seen as a win by both knife and carry advocates.

“This bill is a good bill that will help all applicants and holders of valid Georgia Weapons Licenses as well as persons moving to Georgia with a valid carry license,” Georgia Carry President Jerry Henry told in an email on Wednesday. Henry said the measure corrects some oversights in the state’s existing statutes along with restoring vital rights for both knives and guns.

“It will also aid us in future litigation,” said Henry.

The legislation is the third pro-Second Amendment expansion signed by Deal this year, following in the wake of a campus carry bill signed earlier this month and a reciprocity measure approved in April.

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