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HB 0089 - Firearms; carrying and possession; change provisions

Tracking Level: Passed
Sponsor: Bearden,Timothy 68th
Last Action: 5/14/2008 - House Date Signed by Governor
House Committee: JudyNC
Senate Committee: RULES
Assigned To:
05. Superior CourtsNext Bill
06. State CourtsNext Bill
08. Probate CourtsNext Bill
TortNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

HB 89 is known as the “Business Security and Employee Privacy Act.” It creates a felony for any person who attempts to solicit, persuade, encourage, or entice any dealer to transfer or otherwise convey a firearm other than to the actual buyer, as well as any other person who willfully and intentionally aids or abets such person. Both federal law enforcement officers and peace officers are exempt from this provision. This bill allows any person with a license to carry a weapon to carry such weapon in parks, historic sites, wildlife management areas, or recreational areas, including all publicly owned buildings located in these areas. It also allows such person to carry a firearm on public transportation, provided they do not carry it into a place where firearms are prohibited by federal law. Consumption of alcoholic beverages in a restaurant or eating establishment while carrying a firearm is prohibited. Doing so would constitute a misdemeanor offense. 

HB 89 changed certain provisions relating to the issuance of licenses and license renewals for carrying weapons so that the judge of the probate court shall, within 2 business days following the receipt of the application or request, direct the law enforcement agency to request a fingerprint based criminal history records check and a conduct background check and return an appropriate report to the probate judge. The law enforcement agency has 30 days (previously 50 days) to report their findings to the judge. No later than 10 days after the judge of the probate court receives the report from the law enforcement agency, the judge shall issue such applicant a license or renewal unless the judge determines the applicant has not met all the qualifications, is not of good moral character, or has failed to comply with any of the requirements. The judge shall date stamp the report to show the date on which it was received.

This bill also prohibits private or public employers from conditioning employment on any agreement that would prohibit a prospective employee, who possess a Georgia firearms license, from entering the parking lot with a firearm. It also prohibits employers from having a policy or rule that allows them to search locked cars of employees or invited guests on the employer’s parking lot. The bill also provides for a number of exemptions. Employers, property owners, or property owner’s agent are not liable for damages resulting from the transportation, storage, possession, or use of a firearm unless they commit a criminal act or knew that the person using the firearm would commit such criminal act on the premises.

It added the language of HB 257 which provides for constables to carry firearms in publicly owned or operated buildings. The bill exempts them from the prohibition of carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property, provided however, that a courthouse security plan may prohibit the carrying of a pistol.

Any person, organization or entity, working in coordination and under the direction of an appropriate state agency, who voluntarily and without the expectation or receipt of compensation provides services or goods during a time of emergency as declared by the Governor shall not be civilly liable to any person receiving assistance as a result of any act or omission in rendering service.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text