Weary of the implications of Georgia's new gun law, Norcross city leaders are considering a change to the official name of their city business center, from "City Hall" to "City Hall and Municipal Court."
Under the new law, House Bill 60, firearms could be allowed in churches, bars, and municipal buildings, like a city hall. However, a courthouse would be exempt, including any municipal operations attached to that structure. With those parameters in mind, Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson said the choice for them seems clear.
"We're looking to combine (the city hall and municipal court) in one entity, then it would fall under the courthouse rules," he said. In Norcross, the courthouse doors are directly adjacent to the city hall doors.
"We have to fall in with the intent of the law and make sure we're doing things correctly," said Johnson, who said he opposed House Bill 60 because of the ramifications it presents for municipal buildings.
"Most cities and county governments opposed the legislation because of all the pieces of it," he said, adding they will put up a sign notifying the public that weapons are prohibited at city hall, if the structure is officially attached to the municipal court.
"The criminal element could care less how many signs they put up, if they put up a sign that says court room, court house, the bad guy doesn't care," said State Rep. Rick Jasperse, the main sponsor of House Bill 60. Jasperse said he authored the legislation to strengthen the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, knowing full-well it would have little impact on criminal activity.
"I've had quite an experience the last six months, working with House Bill 60," said Jasperse. "I think I know what's going to happen, is people will have a big hoo-rah about (the law) for the next few months, people will get used to seeing it, and working with it, it'll die down."
The bill is set to become law on July 1.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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