Judges understand Georgians confusion over gun permit laws - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Judges understand Georgians confusion over gun permit laws


By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Even judges who issue gun permits are confused by all the recent changes to Georgia's gun laws. 

State legislators changed the gun laws the last couple of years and are considering more changes this year.  Judges say attempts to clarify gun laws may have made them even more confusing.

Dougherty County Probate Judge Nancy Stephenson reads over the 2010 Supplement of Georgia Official Codes, for the last change to state gun carry law involving cars.

Stephenson reads  "You can have it in an open manner or fully exposed to view, or in the glove compartment, console, or similar compartment, provided however......."

Judge Stephenson says many people applying for gun carry permits ask her questions, because they can't keep up with the many changes.

Stephenson said "So now that they are talking about changing it again, I feel like we are in this vast gray area, where everybody is a little confused."

South Georgia Gun dealers say lots of people are still buying first handguns for safety, but are perplexed by the law's vagueness.

 Backwoods Outdoors owner Jackie Sizemore said "The misinterpretation I think is if you don't have a permit, you can still have a gun. You can't conceal it. But there is a lot of confusion."

Next week Georgia's Probate Judges will meet in Athens for their Spring Training session, and they plan to spend time talking with legislators about proposed gun law changes.

Stephenson said "The more they try to clarify something, the harder it gets sometimes."

Judge Stephenson said one thing is certain, people who come in and pay 70 dollars for a permit are a law abiding group and do not want to break any rules.   But they need to be able to understand those laws. And gun dealers say more people come in everyday to buy guns they plan to carry daily, to protect themselves.

The Albany Police Department sponsors a basic firearms course for the public.  As part of it, the District Attorney and Police Officers explain gun carry laws and how they are enforced. If you would like to attend the course, call 483-6298.

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