Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia Code's Wording in Gun Law at Issue; Lawsuit Claims Language in the Bill Is Not What's in the Official Document

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia Code's Wording in Gun Law at Issue; Lawsuit Claims Language in the Bill Is Not What's in the Official Document

Article excerpt

Byline: Walter C. Jones

ATLANTA | Now that Gov. Nathan Deal and the legislature just finished with the new laws from this year's legislative session, they've got to address a lawsuit over the wording of two bills changing the gun laws from last year.

The advocacy group Georgia Carry filed suit against Deal and members of the Code Revision Commission for allegedly putting the wrong wording into the Official Code of Georgia, the document lawyers, judges and police depend on for saying what the law is.

"The language that was in the bill didn't show up in the code, and straightaway we started getting agencies saying that that bill was preempted by another," said John Monroe, a leader with Georgia Carry and the attorney who filed the suit.

Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens both said last year that one bill effectively repealed the other when it comes to school zones.

Deal signed House Bill 826 first, on April 22 of last year. The next day he signed HB 60.

HB 826 passed unanimously in the House and with only two dissenting votes in the Senate. It was aimed at ending zero-tolerance policies in schools that required administrators to expel students with a weapon, even nonlethal or for innocent reasons. It contained a provision when passed that relaxed the prohibition against adults possessing a gun in a school zone.

HB 60 was more controversial and faced 18 Senate and 58 House "no" votes when it passed. It was the subject of protests, editorials and constant news coverage. It broadened where guns could be taken, and critics dubbed it the "guns everywhere bill."

It came close to passing on the final day of the 2013 session and appeared stalled in 2014 until a compromise watered down some of the most controversial provisions, including some dealing with schools and college campuses.

Georgia Carry filed its suit in Fulton County Superior Court Feb. …

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