ATLANTA,None - State leaders are considering a bill to allow law-abiding citizens to carry a gun without a permit.
“To protect our Second Amendment rights is to remove all barriers," said the man behind the bill, state Rep. Jason Spencer.
Spencer, of Kennesaw, is sponsoring House Bill 679 -- also known as the Constitutional Carry Act. It would allow law-abiding adults in Georgia to carry a gun without a permit, openly or concealed.
"Really what inspired this legislation is the recognition that there is an assault our Second Amendment rights," Spencer told Channel 2’s Sophia Choi.
He spoke Thursday at a public safety and homeland security committee hearing on the issue. The bill’s supporters said requiring a gun permit is too burdensome.
"Taking a day off of work to suffer through the bureaucratic process in the probate court and pay a fine simply isn't an option for these folks,” said Nathan Adams, of the Georgia Campaign for Liberty.
Others said the gun licensing process makes them feel like a criminal.
“Individuals have to travel to their county probate, fill out papers, pay a tax, get fingerprinted, submit to background checks and in many cases, wait weeks, if not months, to receive their license,” said Georgia Gun Owners’ Patrick Parsons.
Among the bill’s opponents was Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills. He said removing the gun licensing requirement could be dangerous.
"We consider it a public safety issue, and we are very concerned many other legal impediments would result from that," Sills said.
But Spencer said despite those concerns, he thinks the bill could pass. First though, he wants another hearing on the matter, in order to convince the committee to send it for a vote.
According to the bill’s supporters, 17,000 people have signed a petition to get it passed.