In March 2020, Governor Brian Kemp (R) issued an Executive Order declaring a Public Health State of Emergency due to COVID-19. The Supreme Court of Georgia also issued a Judicial Order declaring a Statewide Judicial Emergency. The Council of Probate Court Judges subsequently characterized the processing of weapons carry licenses as non-essential and temporarily suspended license issuances to limit the spread of COVID-19. HB 2 would have eliminated the license requirement and the need for probate judges to process applications. However, HB 2 never received a hearing before the 2019–20 legislative session ended. Gun rights advocates called on Governor Kemp to suspend the licensing requirement in the midst of the pandemic and brought a string of Second Amendment lawsuits challenging the suspension of the only avenue available to legally carry a gun in public for self-defense.
Kristin Harripaul & Briana A. James,
CRIMES AND OFFENSES: Proposed Constitutional Carry Act of 2019 & Executive Order by the Governor Temporarily Extending Renewal Requirements for Weapons Carry Licenses,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol37/iss1/17