In Georgia, House Bill 60 (known as the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014), widely lauded as a victory for firearm rights proponents, was signed into law last Wednesday. The law expands the rights of the roughly 500,000 law-abiding Georgians who hold concealed carry permits, by permitting licensed firearms owners to legally carry firearms into houses of worship (if the church allows it), bars (upon permission of the owner), areas of airports outside the security checkpoints, and government buildings that do not have security checkpoints. The bill also legalizes the use of silencers for hunting in designated areas. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2014.
April 28, 2014: In the wake of the recent 9th Circuit rulings overturning the “may issue” practices of two California counties, new legislation has been proposed which would make California a “shall issue” state. The bill would amend California Penal Code section 26150 by replacing “may issue” with “shall issue” and expressly providing that self-defense is sufficient cause to justify issuance of a permit. Meanwhile, another wave of “shall issue” laws, all of which were introduced in the last month, are pending in Arizona, Kentucky, Utah and Kansas. These laws require that Chief Law Enforcement Officers approve applications for Class III National Firearms Act items (short-barreled shotguns, silencers, etc.) unless the applicant is a “prohibited person.”