Democrat State Party Platforms – Colorado To Georgia

This is a  continuation of my series of posts pointing out the political platforms of the individual state Democrat parties on firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Remember, this is the official position of the Democratic Party in each state and you can expect Democrats to work to enact laws along these lines.

Colorado

Colorado Democrats have an explicit gun control agenda in their platform. Moreover, firearm restrictions come up in other areas such as schools and National Parks and Forests.

Firearms and Gun Safety
We agree with individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety, but also believe that firearms should be
regulated as follows:

1. Ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines.
2. Enact universal background checks federally.
3. Enact restrictions: Must be 21 and must demonstrate competency with firearms to purchase a firearm.
4. Prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms by people with violent criminal offenses or on terrorist watch list.
5. Except for security personnel, ban firearms on K-12 schools, college campuses and allow cultural institutions to ban
firearms on their premises.
6. Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which would allow families and law enforcement to seek a court order to
temporarily disarm a person who is dangerous to themselves or others.
7. Enact criminal penalties when adults fail to properly store firearms and minors gain access and harm themselves or
others.
8. Restrict firearms use in National Forest to designated areas, except during hunting season.
9. Allow the CDC and other government agencies to conduct gun violence research, and properly fund.

With regard to making schools gun-free zones, the Colorado Democrats say:

We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all (sic) students and staff at increased
risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.

Finally, with regard to public lands and wildlife, it says, “We support the restriction of shooting in National Forests and Parks.”

Connecticut

As you might expect, Connecticut Democrats support gun control and make great claims for it. They don’t go into great detail so they must assume all the post-Newtown restrictions have been accepted.

Guns

Connecticut Democrats are proud to stand behind common sense gun violence prevention measures. As a result, Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country.

Gun violence in our urban centers needs to be addressed. This can be supported through incentivized proactive measures such as buybacks, and reinforcing “no questions asked” protections where appropriate in order to get guns off the streets.

Connecticut can do more. There is progress to be made in the areas of Domestic Violence and Extreme Risk protections as these scenarios are a source of mass shooting violence and gun suicide.

Delaware

 The Delaware Democrats’ platform adopts the usual buzzwords such as “common sense” and “weapons of war” without going into too much detail.

Preventing Gun Violence: Gun violence is taking far too many lives in Delaware.
Delaware Democrats support common sense gun safety measures while
respecting responsible gun ownership. We will build on successful efforts at the
state level and proposed efforts at the federal level to get weapons of war away
from criminals and off our streets, while preserving the Second Amendment rights
of law-abiding gun owners.

Florida

 The Florida Democrats have a list of their “values” on their website instead of a platform. In addition to a statement on guns, they also have a separate “gun violence prevention” fact (sic) sheet.

Preventing Gun Violence

“Proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam and his Republican party would rather give guns to people who shouldn’t have them than enact comprehensive gun control policies. The Republican Party’s dependence on the NRA for money is why they refuse to enact policies that a majority of Floridians support. Unlike Republicans, Democrats support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and a 3-day waiting period for gun sales. Democrats realize that this isn’t about taking away the rights of responsible, law abiding gun-owners. This is about making our state safer so that there isn’t another shooting in Parkland, Pulse, or anywhere else in Florida. Florida has endured 4 mass shootings in 18 months because of Republicans’ refusal to implement common sense gun reform. Let’s make sure there isn’t a 5th.

Georgia

Georgia Democrats don’t seem to have adopted a party platform since 2011. It is probably for this reason that their platform makes no reference to firearms or “gun violence” (sic).  The only real item I could find is a 2013 press release supporting then President Obama’s efforts at gun control post-Newtown including magazines bans and assault weapon (sic) bans.

I will have to assume that they will support the gun control platform of Stacey Abrams who is their nominee for governor.

As Governor, Stacey will:

  1. Fight for common-sense gun reforms including universal background checks, repeal of campus carry, and extreme-risk protection orders
  2. Support protections and services for victims of domestic violence
  3. Invest in mental health services
  4. Support community and hospital programs to stop the cycle of gun violence



Stacey’s Record:

  1. Opposed legislation which required that guns confiscated in crimes be returned to the street
  2. Opposed campus carry
  3. Received only Ds and Fs from the National Rifle Association
  4. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

“And A Healthy Appreciation For The Second Amendment”

Brian Kemp is a candidate in the Republican primary to be the next governor of Georgia. Kemp is currently the Secretary of State and was previously a state senator. He just put up an ad on Friday that has the anti-gunners howling. Kemp, the father of three daughters, is shown interviewing “Jake” who wants to date one of his daughters.

While a bit stereotypical – dad cleaning shotgun before daughter goes on date – it does get his point across. And, to be honest, I found it hilarious.

Even more of a hoot is to read the comments from all those aghast at his ad in the YouTube comments. From what some Georgia TV stations have reported there have been demands from the outraged (Outraged, I say!) to take down the ad. Only problem is that would violate FCC regulations which prevent the removal of a political advertisement.

Georgia Campus Carry Bill Signed By Gov. Nathan Deal

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) signed HB 280 which provides for a limited campus carry at public institutions of higher education. He had vetoed another campus carry bill in the preceding session of the Georgia General Assembly because of his “concerns” about sensitive places. His signing statement explains his opposition to that bill.

The press release from the Governor’s Office goes into detail about the bill and the excepted places. The one part that would concern me as a faculty or staff member at any of these institutions is not that adult students with carry permits might be carry firearms on campus. Rather it is that the prohibition against firearms in any faculty, staff, or administrative office. This means a faculty member could not protect him or herself in their own office.Their SEC rival University of Tennessee doesn’t allow generalized campus carry but does allow full-time faculty and staff to carry on campus.

From Gov. Deal’s Office:

May 4, 2017


Gov. Nathan Deal today signed HB 280, which permits weapons carry license holders to carry firearms in specific and limited areas on college campuses.


This legislation addressed major concerns voiced by the governor last year regarding HB 859, which permitted a weapons carry license holder to carry a concealed weapon into certain areas of a college campus that had previously been prohibited. HB 859 failed, however, to address Deal’s concerns regarding the prohibition of firearms in “sensitive places,” including campus preschools, disciplinary hearings, or faculty and administrative offices. As a result, the legislation was vetoed.


This year, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed HB 280, which maintains the same restrictions present in HB 859. It also addresses the areas of campus over which Deal previously raised concerns, along with additional areas of college campuses where weapons would not be permitted.


“It is altogether appropriate that weapons not be allowed in sensitive areas on college campuses, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly in expanding these excluded areas within a college campus in this year’s bill,” said Deal. “While HB 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus. Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.


“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection, even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.


“As this legislation is more narrowly tailored as to exclude areas on a college campus, I’ve signed HB 280.”


HB 280 prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone, including weapons carry license holders, on the following areas of a college campus:


  • Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events;
  • Student housing, including but not limited to dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses;
  • Any preschool or childcare space;
  • Any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school;
  • Any room or space used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act”;
  • Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices; and,
  • Rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.

Campus Carry Updates In Texas And Georgia

Two events in Texas and Georgia illustrate the advance of campus carry.

In the first event, University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves said he “would bow to state law” regarding campus carry. He adopted the recommendations of the Campus Carry Working Group who has advised him on how to comply with the law. His decision will allow licensed concealed carry holders to carry in classrooms at the University of Texas. However, he will still work to ban firearms from most on-campus residential halls.

From the Austin Statesman:

“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date,” said Fenves, who has led the Austin flagship campus since June 3. “I empathize with the many faculty members, staffers, students and parents of students who signed petitions, sent emails and letters, and organized to ban guns from campus and especially classrooms.

“However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law. Under the law, I cannot adopt a policy that has the general effect of excluding licensed concealed handguns from campus. I agree with the working group that a classroom exclusion would have this effect.”

Fenves is confident his decision will stand up to challenges. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has previously issued a non-binding advisory memo stating that dorms shouldn’t be off-limits to firearms.

Moving on to Georgia, the House Public Safety and Homeland Security approved HB 859 which would allow concealed carry in school buildings including classrooms. However, the bill excludes carry from dorms, sorority and fraternity houses, and athletic facilities. The bill was passed out of committee on a 10-3 vote and now goes to the House Rules Committee before it is voted on by the entire Georgia House of Representatives.

If the Georgia bill passes the House, it will go on to the Georgia Senate. Not being a Georgian, I’m not sure of the bill’s chances in the Senate. That body did remove campuses from an expansion of carry locations in a 2014 bill.

H/T Georgia Carry

And For Georgia Readers

Daniel Defense is supporting efforts to repeal the ban on suppressors for hunting in the state of Georgia. To this end, they have developed a pre-composed email that will be sent to your local Representative and Senator as well as members of the Game, Fish, and Parks Committee.

Georgia is currently the number two state in the number of suppressors registered under the National Firearms Act. If Senate Bill 93 is passed, Georgia will become the 32nd that allows suppressors for hunting.

The link to the email is here.

Remington Looking At Georgia?

Georgia is home to both Glock and Daniel Defense. It is also being considered by Beretta who was reported to have scouted a central Georgia location earlier this year. Now it appears that Georgia officials are working hard to convince Remington Arms to relocate from Ilion, New York to their state.

State Sen. Burt Jone (R-Jackson) discussed this in a Q&A session with the Butts County Partners for Smart Growth this past week. Butts County is midway between Atlanta and Macon along Interstate 75.

Jones, R-Jackson, said that while Beretta has narrowed its focus to two Georgia locations — not in Butts County — the Remington Arms Company is considering relocating from New York, where its Ilion Firearms Plant and Custom Shop is located. He said state officials are working to try to bring the plant to Georgia and he’s hoping to land it in his district, possibly his home county.

Jones discussed the possibility during a question-and-answer session after his remarks Thursday to the group Partners for Smart Growth.

Remington, he said, “is looking to leave New York due to taxes, due to the unions, due to all the factors that run businesses away from your community, and they have zeroed in on the state of Georgia as being one of the states that they’re considering.”

He said he is working to get Butts County and District 25 on a list of “potential landing spots” for Remington.

“It could mean literally thousands of jobs for a community, wherever it might land,” Jones said.

It may only be wishful thinking on the part of the state of Georgia and Sen. Jones that Remington would leave New York. However, it is a fact that the NY SAFE Act has cost that state jobs. American Tactical and Kahr Arms are relocating out of state and others have decided any expansions will be made in outside of New York.

UPDATE: Tom at Fill Yer Hands reminded me that Heckler & Koch has operations down in Columbus, Georgia.

H/T Tim Glance

News From The Second Front

Knife Rights calls themselves the Second Front in the fight for the Second Amendment and they are correct. They scored a big win in the state of Georgia recently concerning preemption. Unlike in the firearms world where state preemption is the norm rather than the exception, it is just the opposite when it comes to knives. Such was the case of Georgia which is home to the Blade Show.

From Knife Rights:

With encouragement from your phone calls, emails and letters, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed the single most important bill for knife owners and the knife industry to pass this year. With his signature, Knife Rights’ drafted SB432 establishes knife law preemption in Georgia, effectively repealing draconian restrictions on knife ownership, sales and manufacturing in cities like Atlanta, home of BLADE Show, the world’s largest knife show.

For years the BLADE Show has literally been operating on the “knife’s edge”of the law because even though it takes place in Cobb County, where there are very few restrictions on knives, right across the street in the city of Atlanta, where many BLADE Show attendees go to eat, sleep and recreate, there are onerous laws against knives and knife owners.

These local ordinances banned the possession of all sorts of knives readily available and often carried at the BLADE Show including a prohibition against carry of any automatic or any knife with a blade longer than three-inches “readily available for use.” An attendee or exhibitor could easily have run afoul of these ordinances and faced fines and jail time. The potential existed to create terrible publicity that could have jeopardized the knife world’s most important annual show! With the signing of Knife Rights drafted Knife Law Preemption bill, those threats are now eliminated.

Our thanks to the members and supporters of Knife Rights who made their support known to the legislature and governor and to the bill sponsors, Georgia Senator Bill Heath and Georgia Representative David Knight. Also, a special thank you to Governor Nathan Deal for signing this important legislation.

Having said all that, one word of caution! Please note that this new Knife Preemption Law does not go into effect until July 1, 2012, so BLADE Show attendees should remain cautious this year as the old laws remain in effect until July 1st.

Congratulations are in order for Doug Ritter, Todd Rathner, and all who worked so hard to bring preemption to Georgia.