Discussion of SB 224

Sen. Elena Parent is criticizing SB 224 for “felons & other convicts allowed to have a variety of firearms”. Not so. Sen. Parent does not elaborate on what “other convicts” are besides felons. Presumably, they must be misdemeanants. Under Georgia law, there is no misdemeanor that deprives a person of the right to possess firearms, so SB 224 cannot and does not change that. SB 224 does change the state definition of firearm to match the federal definition, so that felons in Georgia will be prohibited from possessing firearms under both state and federal law, but the law would not apply to “antique firearms” as that term has been defined by Congress. This is not a “variety of firearms”. Antique firearms mostly consist of muzzle-loading guns. Sen. Parent fails to tell her readers that, and she also fails to point to any crimes committed with a muzzle loading gun. Long bows and cross bows have more firepower than muzzle loaders do, but Sen. Parent is not moving to ban them for felons.

Sen. Jones is criticizing SB 224 for its changes to the definition of aggravated assault. Sen. Jones claims, incorrectly, that under current law aggravated assault is an assault with an attempt to murder. That is only one of the several ways that aggravated assault can be committed, and SB 224 does not change that. SB 224 addresses the problem that aggravated assault is committed if someone with a firearm does something that puts another person in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. That is, whether a person commits this 20-year felony is dependent on what the alleged “victim” feels about the incident. GCO strongly believes that aggravated assault should only consist of serious negative behavior that is not dependent on the feelings of a third party that just happens to dislike firearms.