Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 60 in law. The bill has some aspects which I wish we would adopt for North Carolina. There is one part of the bill which I believe I understand what they meant to enact, but in reality they may have enacted something much different. The section is 16-11-137 (b) and I have quoted it in boldface type.
(a) Every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, or if such person is exempt from having a weapons carry license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-130 or subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-127.1, he or she shall have proof of his or her exemption in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of the applicable provision of Code Sections 16-11-126 through 16-11-127.2.
(b) A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.
I believe they wanted to make sure someone was not harassed by the police for carrying concealed with a permit, but in reality they have made it where a police officer cannot even stop someone to ask if they have a permit. I don’t see this as a perfect scenario. I much prefer having a duty to notify as we do in North Carolina. If I pass a police officer tooling down the street I have no duty to notify. If I am in line at Wendy’s and the officer is behind me in line I have no duty to notify. If I am pulled over in a traffic stop I do have a duty to notify since the officer is carrying out their duties. I think duty to notify may be what is missing from the Georgia legislation. I am all for gun rights and little to no interaction with police officers and government, but notifying the officer diffuses the situation immediately and no duty to notify could lead to a future issue down the line. I’m sure there are some who think having a requirement to notify is a bad idea. At the end of the day all the police officer wants to do is make it home at the end of the shift and if I can simply say I have a CHP and take the situation down from DEFCON 1 to a less tense situation, I am all for it. Time will tell if this part of the Georgia law was the right move, I suspect the situations will be very few where it will be tested, but I don’t see a duty to notify as any type of detention or loss of rights.