Comprehensive 2nd Amendment Rights Bill Passes Senate
The Georgia Senate passed a bill aimed at protecting 2nd Amendment rights for licensed firearms carriers. I authored Senate Bill 102 revising several carrying provisions in Georgia law while not altering any of our current private property laws. Business owners and property owners still have the right to ban firearms from their property.
SB 102 allows license holders to carry a firearm in any area of the airport where not prohibited by federal law. This legislation also specifically allows firearms to be carried into places of worship. The bill does not require a church to allow firearms, but it simply gives the property owner the ability to decide for themselves.
SB 102 also seeks to increase security for carry licenses and renewal applications. My bill would require a criminal records check within two days of receiving renewal forms from a license holder. This new provision will ensure that those with a carry license and a new criminal record will not be able to renew.
Senate Approves Department of Fire Safety Measure
As a longtime advocate for public safety and firefighter issues in Georgia, I was proud to author Senate Bill 186, the Fire Safety Consolidation Act. SB 186 would establish the Department of Fire Safety with the ultimate goal of creating a more efficient and effective fire service for the citizens of Georgia while streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars. This bill reduces the size of government by consolidating three separate agencies into one with the Georgia Fire Safety Commissioner under the Office of the Governor.
I was fortunate enough to have the input from fire chiefs and firefighters from around the state to make it a measure they fully endorse as a vehicle to better serve their respective communities. SB 186 was unanimously approved by the Senate and now moves over to the House of Representatives for consideration.
General Assembly Seeking Strong Illegal Immigrant Reform
SB 40 is an immigration reform bill to enhance the use of the federal E-Verify system. It allows local and state law enforcement officers to help federal authorities identify illegal immigrants in Georgia. This week, SB 40 passed the Senate after much deliberation. The main portions of the bill are intended to help businesses and state agencies determine that people working for them are not in the country illegally. Many businesses perform drug tests or other verification procedures on their employees. E-Verify would require a simple computer check and is much less time consuming and invasive than many procedures businesses already use. The House has passed its version of immigration reform, and the two bills will now go to conference committee for negotiation before being combined into a final bill.
Georgia Government Accountability Act
On Wednesday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 223, the “Georgia Government Accountability Act.” SB 223, if passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law, would create a Legislative Sunset Advisory Committee to review all state agencies and programs. If those state agencies and programs are not providing essential constitutionally-based services, they can be eliminated or privatized by the General Assembly. The intent is to find and eliminate government waste and to reduce the size of government.
Sen. Jeff Mullis serves as Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate district which includes Chattooga, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Catoosa County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.