Firearm permit issuing agency could've changed -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Firearm permit issuing agency could've changed

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Some south Georgians worry a bill designed to simplify Georgia's gun carry laws could end up making it harder to get a gun.

The Senator who introduced the bill says that's not the case, and a late change to the bill will prevent changes to how you get a firearm permit.

The State Senate passed an overhaul to Georgia's gun carry laws late Wednesday. The original bill would have changed the gun permitting agency from your local probate court to the Secretary of State's office, but that provision was taken out Wednesday night.

"They had an amendment last night that reversed that to let the probate courts keep firearm permitting but there really doesn't seem to be any language in Senate Bill 308 that really identifies the permitting process through the state's office," said Cook County Probate Court Judge Chase Daughtrey.

He says right now the Cook County probate court can issue a permit for $60 and he's wondering what the price would be if the issuing agent changed to the Secretary of State's Office.

Four hundred gun permits were issued in Cook County last year. Judge Daughtrey says applicants can get issue permits in a matter of days.

"The secretary of state's office does an excellent job of turning around professional licensings, LLCs, and corporations but this is a different beast, a different animal," said Daughtrey.

 "I don't think they should do anything with our carrying permits it should be local," said Chad Bush.

Bush is the manager of Adel Outfitters and says gun sales are up.

"Sound like to me that the state government is trying to get more into the business of local government," said Bush.

Judge Daughtrey hopes when the bill hits the house in coming days they'll leave probate courts to issue the licenses for the benefit of the taxpayers and citizens. 

A Senate spokesperson says the Secretary of State provision was initially in the bill to keep records in a central place and prevent delays in the revocation of gun licenses for people who commit crimes.

She says it would not have slowed down the permitting process, but because there were objections it was removed.

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