Two of the biggest topics at the Georgia Legislature this year — ethics and guns — will dominate discussion Tuesday, as state lawmakers gear up for their last two weeks of work.
A 9 a.m. public hearing by the Senate Rules Committee will focus on an historic piece of legislation, one that would for the first time place limits on influence under the Gold Dome.
House Bill 142 would generally ban lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers, although it has a number of loopholes and would also force volunteer advocates to register just like high-powered paid lobbyists. Senate leaders especially do not like the registration requirement and will likely work to change this week before allowing it to move forward.
The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, meanwhile, will meet at 3 p.m. for a closer look at Senate Bill 101. The proposal would keep the names and personal details of gun owners licensed to carry a weapon in Georgia secret, and would prohibit local officials from banning guns in public housing unless required by federal law or regulation.
The bill would also get Georgia out of the business of licensing gun dealers. Out-of-state gun owners with permission to carry guns at home would be allowed to carry guns here. And it would lower to 18 the state’s prohibition on anyone under the age of 21 from carrying a gun, but only for military service members who have completed basic training.
SB 101 would not be considered a dramatic shift in the state’s gun laws, although it could face alterations in the House to do just that.
March 28 is scheduled to be the last of the Legislature’s annual 40-day session, with lawmakers pressing to get as much done before then on key bills and issues.