Bill allowing carry of guns into Georgia sails through House panel

A Georgia House panel on Wednesday approved legislation that aims to allow anyone to bring their firearm into Georgia if he or she has a permit to carry a weapon.

Georgia currently operates under what is known as “reciprocity” — where only people from states that allow those with Georgia gun permits to carry the weapons there can bring their guns here. Georgia has the “reciprocity” agreements with 32 states ranging from South Carolina to Wyoming.

The proposal unanimously cleared a House Public Safety subcommittee.

House Bill 787, sponsored by Canton Republican Rep. Mandi Ballinger, said the purpose of the legislation is to make it easier for travelers to bring their guns into the state.

“It would be good for hunting and fishing, as well as some other, kind of, pro-Second Amendment folks,” she said. “It doesn't it doesn't expand our licensing here in the state of


It’s unclear if anyone who has brought a gun from a state that Georgia does not have an agreement with has been prosecuted unless he or she already was charged with other crimes.

Gun control advocates warned that allowing people from states that may have loose licensing laws could endanger Georgians.

Page Rast, a Smyrna resident and volunteer with gun control group Moms Demand Action, told lawmakers she worried allowing gun permit holders from all states to carry their weapons in Georgia.

“Weakening reciprocity laws is just not a good practice,” Rast said. “This will only make it more difficult for local Georgia law enforcement to help keep our communities safe.”