Sen. Smith Files Bill to Protect Citizens’ Gun Rights during an Emergency

ATLANTA (Jan. 29, 2010) – State Sen. Preston Smith (R-Rome) filed Senate Bill 342 today to protect legally carrying citizens’ gun rights during a state of emergency.  Currently, state law grants extraordinary powers to a Georgia governor to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of firearms during an emergency.  Sen. Smith’s bill would repeal that existing statute to remove a governor’s power to limit gun rights during an emergency.

 “Just since the 1990’s, there have been over 30 occasions where a governor has declared a state of emergency in Georgia.  While no governor has yet exercised this extraordinary ability, it is within their power to do so,” said Sen. Smith.  “I don’t believe that a governor should ever prohibit citizens from the legal purchase or transportation of firearms, particularly in a state of emergency when legally-carrying citizens should be able to protect themselves and their personal property.”   

Sen. Smith is a strong advocate of defending those citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights who are legally allowed to carry a firearm.  This bill will help those citizens protect themselves in extraordinary circumstances.  “I believe that during an emergency, having the right to legally bear arms may become even more critical,” he added.   

In Georgia, you must be over 21 years of age to legally carry a firearm.   

During the 2010 Legislative Session, Sen. Smith will make emergency preparedness a legislative priority.  He has already introduced a bill that allows out of state licensed emergency personnel to assist the state in the event of a disaster.  These measures are an effort to ensure that the state is doing its best to protect citizens and can get them the help they need should an emergency occur.   

Sen. Preston Smith serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He represents the 52nd Senate District which includes Floyd County and portions of Bartow and Gordon counties.  He may be reached by phone at 404.656.0034 or by e-mail at

For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2010
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Kallarin Richards, Senior Communications Specialist