Charles Gregory's floor speech on SB 101

Friday, March 22, 2013

We have 119 Republicans in this house and 38 in the Senate.  How many of you campaigned on, among other things, support for 2nd amendment rights?  It shouldn’t be a great feat for this house to pass a clean gun bill.

As it stands now, Senate Bill 101 will likely serve to confuse gun owners as much as it will have any practical effect on reducing infringement by the state.  If this is the best gun-bill we can come up with, we should be embarrassed.

I’ve received emails from gun-rights activists across the state; perhaps you have as well.  They are frustrated to witness their legislators play games with their God-given rights.

Is there is a significant provision of this “comprehensive” gun bill that hasn’t been adulterated?

Church Carry is now “opt-in”?  Bar Carry is back to “opt-in”?

This creates a trap for license holders.  Should we have to post signs on our homes and businesses indicating whether or not we allow freedom of speech or freedom of religion on premises?  Of course not!

If you don’t like what someone says on your property, you ask them to leave.  Why should our 2nd amendment rights be any different?  We have absolutely no business involving ourselves in the free decisions of private property owners?

Campus Carry has been compromised with dorm and sporting venue prohibitions.

Private colleges are private property; they can and should rightfully set their own policies; however, public campuses are owned by the citizens of the State of Georgia.  The role of the state is to protect the equal rights of ALL individuals, not infringe on them.  Even 21 year old adults that live on a college campus deserve the same respect for their rights as everyone else.

As related to church, bar, and campus carry – unlike criminal trespass where an individual doesn’t commit a crime unless he or she refuses to leave when asked – under SB 101, mistakenly walking into a church, bar or college is enough to get thrown into jail for a year!

I understand several of the NRA’s provisions were completely dumped.

Then we have the useless and dangerous mental health language.  These provisions will serve only to create and perpetuate government bureaucracies, violate individual privacy, and encumber law abiding citizens.  Just like criminals, crazy people that would do us harm don’t care about our laws.  And mark my words, someone is going to try and expand these provisions even further in years to come.  This is the new face of gun-control.

But hey – at least we save a few bucks on license renewals.

As elected Representatives, the single most important, if not only, responsibility we are tasked with is to protect the individual’s Natural Rights.  The people’s Rights are not something to negotiate, compromise, or trade.  Natural Rights belong to the people, regardless of the morally invalid statutory laws we continue to impose on them.  Legislation in violation of Natural Law is tyranny.

We can do better… the people deserve better.

When I get back to my desk, it is my intention to make a motion to temporarily suspend the rules so that we can accept an amendment from the floor.  The amendment is on your desk.  It is designed to correct several of the problems I mentioned above and to restore this legislation to a respectable state - in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the existing language.

I’ve heard a lot of talk this session about “what the Governor wants“ and “what the Governor will accept.”  This body is accountable DIRECTLY to the people.  It is a separate and discrete branch of government.

The legislation passed out of this house and the senate should be done so, solely with the interests of the people in mind.  It should not in held hostage to the will or collusion of the Governor’s office.  If the Governor receives a good, clean bill on his desk that reduces state infringement and respects the rights of the people - and he doesn’t sign it, that’s on him.  We did our job.  Like all of us, he is accountable directly to the people he represents.

This is the nature of our government’s separation of powers.  These checks and balances provide a vital and necessary protection for the people from the government.

If you are simply content to vote yes on this bill, without voting to amend, can you honestly go home and tell your constituents that you fought for their 2nd amendment rights?

When I move to temporarily suspend the rules, I ask for a 2nd, I ask for your favorable consideration on the motion, and if successful, and I ask for your favorable consideration on the amendment.

Thank you and I yield the well.

by Charles Gregory