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Correction on Georgia Airport Issue

I’ve been asking knowledgeable people (who unlike me have studied law) about GCO’s claim that the airport language is preserved even with the airport language being removed from SB308. GCO’s legislative counsel says it will be preserved. The knowledgeable person I asked, after research, believes that will indeed be the case, but can’t speak with 100% certainty on the issue. This is due to the fact that the people who codify laws assume that the legislature passes everything for a reason, and that laws which are not in direct conflict with each other should preserve every bit of language that was passed in the codified law.

I feel a little good that it at least was a difficult question, because I’d hate to flub on something easy… but at this point I’m willing to accept GCO’s claim that if Purdue signs both bills, Georgia gets airport carry. A good thing. Though, that presumes that Purdue doesn’t veto SB291. It seems to be that GCO did not want to risk SB308 with the airport language, and NRA didn’t want to give the Governor that choice.

That seems to me to be a strategic disagreement rather than something that warrants a very public repudiation of NRA. There is history between the groups, as has been explained to me. I would encourage both organizations to bury past hatchets and try to work together. Working together, I think, has to mean not imparting poor motives to disagreements about legislative priorities and strategies. It also means, I think, treating other groups with respect and dignity, and treating their ideas and viewpoints with the seriousness they deserve. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

12 Responses to “Correction on Georgia Airport Issue”

  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the information Sebastian. I hope this information is correct. However, I am not sure it matters if it is or not. Regardless of the theory you describe, I am not sure “airport carry” would be illegal anyway. If you look at the new code sections post SB308, I have yet to find why airport carry would be illegal. I am not saying that is a lock or certain, just that I haven’t found it yet. Section 16-11-127 lists the places you CANNOT carry. Airports are not listed. The only possible stretch would be government buildings.

    The only other sections that could apply are 16-12-123 and 16-12-127. But SB308 basically exempts permit holders from both sections.

    So regardless of which bill is signed first, or the theory of how laws are applied, etc, I do not see how airport carry is illegal under SB308.

    Now, this specific issue has never really been “my” issue on this. My issue is that the NRA a) does not care what people in Georgia want, and b) just flat out hasn’t done much. Georgians want resturant, campus, and MARTA carry and an end to the public gathering law. Thanks to GCO we have two of those and with the governor’s (Perdue btw) signature we will have three. Notice parking lots is not on the list. And, we would not have any of the three if it was up to the NRA. That is what is shameful. If not for GCO we would not have any of those items. You can take that to the bank.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I think it’s awfully presumptuous for people to speak for what Georgians want. Have you polled them? NRA is at least, theoretically, a membership driven organization. Not that I think they always get the sentiment of membership correct, but I give them more credibility to act on behalf of their membership than most other organizations.

  3. I think it’s awfully presumptuous for people to speak for what Georgians want.

    And speaking as a Georgian, that would especially include I-live-well-north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line NRA shills.

    I believe it’s instructive that given a post that had 62 comments, you spent most of that defending the NRA before</i? before blegging for someone who might know what they're talking about to research your argument (that one law would gut the other).

    Sebastian, we readers do acknowledge your work on gun rights; but blind devotion to an organization whose actions sometimes contradict the assertion that the NRA is the foremost defender of said rights doesn't ring true

  4. Sebastian says:

    I don’t claim to speak for Georgians, or know what Georgian gun owners want. But I suspect many of those who do claim this also do not.

  5. Sebastian says:

    And for the record, I asked largely concurrently. It took a while for the person I asked to research what would happen. I made the best call I could make with the information I had, which would indicate that you don’t get both unless both bills have airport language.

    There are still good reasons for including airport language in both, not the least of which is not giving the Governor an out on that topic. As it stands how, he probably has cover to veto SB291 if he wants.

    It’s not so much blind devotion. I am not afraid to criticize them when they are truly wrong. But what GCO is doing to NRA’s reputation hurts the issue across the board. I understand there are issues there, and they might even have reasons to disagree. What I have issues with is the folks who are attributing foul motives to NRA for their actions, and I don’t get much of an impression GCO’s leadership has too much of an issue with that happening.

  6. Mike J says:

    “I think it’s awfully presumptuous for people to speak for what Georgians want. Have you polled them? ”
    Sebastian the comment above irks me also. I believe that a grassroots organization such as GeorgiaCarry.Org that is made up primarily of Georgians knows a lot more about what Georgians want then the “800 pound gorilla” national organization.
    With that said I would like for us to have airport carry in Georgia. GCO has fought for it in the past & I’m sure will again in the future. However if there is a chance that having airport carry in SB 308 might get it vetoed I would prefer airport carry be kept a separate issue.
    If we don’t have airport carry it effects me when I go to the airport. The public gathering law effects me statewide. There are other gains in SB 308 as well besides just getting rid of the public gathering law.
    I have been a member of the NRA in the past & was planning on renewing until all of this came up. The more I dig the more I wonder if the NRAs goal is the preservation of the 2nd Amendment or the preservation of the NRA. If the NRA had been getting it done for us in Georgia there would not be a GCO. GCO is more effective here than the NRA. I would like to see the two work together but I really don’t think GCO is the problem in this situation. They aren’t the ones telling lies & covering up.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Sebastian the comment above irks me also. I believe that a grassroots organization such as GeorgiaCarry.Org that is made up primarily of Georgians knows a lot more about what Georgians want then the “800 pound gorilla” national organization.

    I’m not really trying to irk anyone. I’m just asking people to think a bit about what gives a group legitimacy to act on behalf of its members, or on behalf of its issue. For the sake of argument I won’t use GCO, because this point isn’t really about them. I’ll use PAFOA.

    PAFOA is in the process of forming a board, on which I will have a seat. PAFOA also sells memberships of a sort. That position does not give me the right to speak for Pennsylvania gun owners, or even PAFOA’s members. Why? Because I wasn’t elected to it, I was appointed to it.

    I’m not saying PAFOA have absolutely no right to a position on issues, to speak about that position, or to lobby for legislation they feel would be beneficial to members. But I think it would be presumptuous to assume PAFOA represents the voice of Pennsylvania gun owners or knows best for them. PAFOA has several thousand “members” as well. NRA has something like a quarter million in Pennsylvania, who elect the Board that, at least in theory, hires the officers who run the organization.

    Which organization has more legitimacy to speak or act on behalf of its members or gun owners? Not that I think NRA has always done the right thing in Pennsylvania, but I wouldn’t presume to argue that PAFOA has more of a right to speak of PA gun owners than NRA. Pretty clearly the opposite is the case.

  8. MattK says:

    GCO leadership simply stated what happened. The NRA did try to kill a bill that would get rid of the public gathering law. The NRA did try to cover this up by saying the Senators who talked about it were liars when they were telling the truth.

    That seems to me to be a strategic disagreement rather than something that warrants a very public repudiation of NRA.

    Really? Trying to kill a pro-gun bill over a minor detail (that had already been passed in another bill) and calling people liars is a “strategic disagreement?”

    You do understand that right? The NRA’s “strategy” was that either the airport language was in SB 308 or there would be no SB 308 and to hell with everything else in the bill.

    You say you don’t know what Georgians want. Show me anything from the NRA that says what Georgians what, especially something that says airport carry is more important than public gatherings. Hell, since NRA press can’t even acknowledge we can open carry with a license, does the NRA even know what a public gathering is? I would bet they don’t. Not without a lot of study or going to a website or 2 using information I and others put together (I allow several websites to reprint information from my website).

    I have been helping people understand Georgia carry laws for a few years now. I have my own website dedicated to helping people understand them. I may not know what GA gun owners want, but I can tell you what GA gun carriers want. The overwhelming answer is to get rid of public gatherings.

    I am sure I and others paying attention to this would have loved to know the NRA’s strategy and thinking behind this. Even if it was as simple as “we thought airports were more important to Georgians”. The NRA had their chance the morning after to explain their reasoning and all they could come up with was calling people liars.

    Now that all being said, the morning after the events in question, GCO still supported the NRA’s bill. GCO is not anti-NRA. GCO simply wants to do what is best for GA and have tried in the past to work with the NRA only to get the silent treatment. If you want to try to get a dialog going between the NRA and GCO so that this kind of thing does not happen again, that would be great. You can email me to talk about this further (I am an officer and on the BOD).

  9. MattK says:

    So if more people in a state voted for Obama than the number of people who voted for their Governor, then Obama has more of a right to speak for the state than the Governor does?

  10. MattK says:

    That last post was in response to Sebastian’s comment #7

  11. Sebastian says:

    It’s not quite a clean analogy, but to some degree yes, depending on what the issue was. I don’t think anyone has absolute authority to speak on another’s behalf. It’s more of a relative legitimacy type thing.

  12. Sebastian says:

    One thing I just have to note, and I hope this doesn’t come across badly after a few rum and cokes. But what kind of message do you think it sends to politicians when you speak of the airport issue as “a minor detail” considering that it was a huge public deal in Georgia that has spawned national legislation. What kind of message would it send if our enemies didn’t think we were serious about it?

    Maybe you guys have the right balance, and the airport issue was best left for another day. That might really be the right thing to do. But this stuff isn’t rocket science either. That’s why I’m not really cool with attributing bad motives to strategic disagreements like this.

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