With one day left in Georgia’s legislative session, Georgia Republicans are trying to ram through a final slew of bad bills – HB 218, HB 286, and HB 289 – which will make Georgians less safe, infringe on Georgians’ right to assembly, and take power away from Georgia cities.
Only two weeks after the deadly shooting in Atlanta, HB 218 would make access to guns easier by allowing individuals without a Georgia concealed carry permit to carry weapons in Georgia if they have a license from another state, even if that state has looser gun safety provisions or none at all – a move that both gun safety advocates and law enforcement groups oppose.
HB 286 would prohibit local governments from making their own decisions about decreasing or diverting law enforcement funding, flying in the face of the GOP’s supposed priority of protecting local control over local issues.
And both in the middle of a reckoning on racial justice, and immediately following the arrest of Rep. Park Cannon, a Black woman legislator who was doing her job where she works, HB 289 would impose major restrictions on protesting and sanction drastic law enforcement response to protests, which many opponents and civil rights advocates predict will have a disproportionate impact on people of color.
“There is no limit to Georgia Republicans’ failed morals this legislative session. From loosening gun safety measures two weeks after a deadly mass shooting in our state, restricting Georgians’ right to protest after already limiting Georgians’ right to vote, and telling local governments how to run their cities, their priorities this legislative session show just how out of touch they are with Georgia voters and the real issues facing our state,” said Rebecca Galanti, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Today’s GOP is desperate to cling to power, and will pass any piece of awful legislation to satisfy their increasingly extreme right-wing base, at the expense of Georgians’ health and safety, civil rights, and autonomy.”