AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Georgia Attorney General Offers Smack Down Of Savannah Gun Ordinance

The city of Savannah is one of the most beautiful in the state of Georgia. It just has one ugly wart, and that’s its city government.

See, these are public officials who think they’re above state law, particularly with regard to Georgia’s preemption law that prevents local governments from passing their own gun control measures.

They passed it despite being warned by some that they were, in fact, breaking state law.

Not that the local media has done a great job pointing out that this is an issue.

Now, though, it’s a lot harder to ignore. Why? Because the state is officially involved, in the form of the attorney general, and he’s not exactly thrilled with the city at the moment.

A letter has been sent by Georgia’s Attorney General to Savannah city officials saying their new gun storage ordinance is void as it directly conflicts with Georgia law. 

In the letter, Attorney General Chris Carr points to a Georgia law that says, “no county or municipal corporation shall regulate in any manner the possession, ownership, transport or carrying of firearms or other weapons.” 
Carr ended the letter by saying, “We have not undertaken any analysis of the potential consequences of adoption and enforcement of ordinances that are void. However, at minimum, it appears that the city should note the potential civil liability.” 

Carr also notes that his office will perform a courtesy review of proposed ordinances to check the legality of the measures in question, yet they have no record of Savannah requesting a review on this trainwreck. If they had, the AG’s office would have told them this was illegal. But they didn’t.

Shocking, I know.

Now, a letter from the attorney general isn’t the end-all, be-all of things, but it’s a stern warning regarding the official position of the state government, and Savannah done screwed up, as we like to say around these parts.

Here’s what’s going to happen. At some point, someone will be cited by the city of Savannah for their gun being stolen out of their car. That someone will then reach out to one of the pro-gun groups operating in Georgia and a lawsuit will be filed.

Savannah will try to defend the law because they’re convinced of their own righteousness despite the fact that Georgia’s preemption law allows for exactly one exception, and that’s about discharging firearms inside the city limits. That argument, however, won’t be based on any laws on the books in Georgia or federally, so they’ll be smacked down.

The end result will be that preemption will be upheld and Savannah’s ordinance will be overturned, costing the city’s taxpayers a bundle and accomplishing nothing. If anything, preemption will be in a much stronger position and other cities who might consider going down this road will get the message loud and clear: Leave gun rights alone.

This isn’t difficult to predict and I’m not even an attorney. How Savannah’s lawyers didn’t see this coming, they need to be fired. Or, if they did and warned local officials of it, why were they listened to?

If they’re smart, the city council would repeal the measure immediately, but there’s a reason they’re the wart on a beautiful city.

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