House Bill 691 is something that visitors to this site might be interested in. Present Georgia law prevents anyone from obtaining a firearms license if they have been convicted of possession of a controlled subsatnce, even if it is a misdemeanor or if the person was convicted under the First Offender Act (which allows a judge to put an offender on probation without convicting him or her - if they complete their probation successfully, they do not have a conviction on their record). The provision in O.C.G.A. section 16-11-129 concerning all other felony convictions does not make an exception for those sentenced under the First Offender Act, so if someone is convicted of, say, forgery under the First Offender Act, then they could obtain a firearms license once their probation is up.
House Bill 691 would change the present law to prevent only those convicted of felony drug offenses from obtaining a license (possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana is pretty much the only misdemeanor drug offense) and to allow those who are sentenced under the First Offfender Act to obtain a Firearms License if they successfully complete their probation. It appears to me that the reasoning behind this bill is to allow people who have youthful indiscretions to obtain a firearms license once they get their stuff together. Others may disagree very hardily with this. If so let me know in the poll below!
House Bill 691 has already been passed in the House and has been read for the second time in the Senate - the next step is to debate it and vote on it. However, it does not look like that will happen this session. Write your State Senator and express your opinion on H.B. 691. And give them a link to the FLAG website!
Click here to see existing O.C.G.A. section 16-11-129. And see the text of H.B. 691 below or Click here to see it.
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT
To amend Code Section 16-11-129 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to licenses to carry pistols or revolvers and temporary renewal permits, so as provide that a person convicted of a felony offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug shall be ineligible to obtain such license; to redefine the term "convicted" for such purposes; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
Code Section 16-11-129 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to licenses to carry pistols or revolvers and temporary renewal permits, is amended by striking paragraph (5) of subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"(5) (A) Any person, the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection notwithstanding, who has been convicted of a felony offense arising out of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or other dangerous drug.
(B) As used in this paragraph, the term:
(i) 'Controlled substance' means any drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in the definition of controlled substances in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21.
(ii) 'Convicted' means a plea of guilty, a finding of guilt by a court of competent jurisdiction, the acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere, or the affording of first offender treatment by a court of competent jurisdiction, unless and until discharged without adjudication of guilt and exonerated as otherwise provided by law, irrespective of the pendency or availability of an appeal or an application for collateral relief
(iii) 'Dangerous drug' means any drug defined as such in Code Section 16-13-71."
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.