Georgia

Ga. lawmaker introduces new gun legislation

by WALTER C. JONES, Online Athens  |  published on February 1, 2013

Guns made in Georgia and sold only within the state would be exempt from federal rules or registration under House Bill 89, introduced Tuesday.

Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, said the state could choose to institute its own regulation of firearms for those that would not be covered under federal law, should his bill pass.

“Basically, the bill is saying the interstate-commerce clause (of the U.S. Constitution) doesn’t apply to these weapons,” he said.

The Constitution grants sole power to the federal government to oversee the sales of goods and services across state lines, known as interstate commerce. It was originally designed to prevent states from imposing tariffs on each others’ goods, but in the last 50 years, it has been used to control activities from racial segregation to healthcare.

Benton argues that as long as these weapons aren’t sold out of state, the federal rules should not apply to them.

In the aftermath of the shooting of 26 people at a school in Connecticut, President Barack Obama and others have called for greater controls on guns.

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