A New Day For Packing Heat

I noted yesterday that July 1, the first day of the fiscal year in 46 states, is often a day when new laws take effect. So it’s not surprising that Georgia’s new expanded open carry law came in with what was nearly a bang, per this report from Dean Poling of the Valdosta Daily Times:

On the first day of the new Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act, a misunderstanding between two armed men in a convenience store Tuesday led to a drawn firearm and a man’s arrest.

“Essentially, it involved one customer with a gun on his hip when a second customer entered with a gun on his hip,” said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

At approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call regarding a customer dispute at the Enmark on the corner of Park Avenue and North Lee Street.

A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to see his identification and firearms license, according to the Valdosta Police Department report.

The customer making demands for ID pulled his firearm from its holster but never pointed it at the other customer, who said he was not obligated to show any permits or identification.

He demanded the man’s ID again. Undeterred by the drawn gun, the man paid for his items, left the store and called for police.

Authorities arrested Ronald Williams, 62, on a charge of disorderly conduct, related to the pulling of a weapon inside of the store, according to the VPD. Police confiscated Williams’ weapon and took him to the Lowndes County Jail.

It’s a hell of a note when someone exercising his Second Amendment rights has to show a permit for that hand cannon on his hip. The whole idea of open carry law is to encourage a Cold War style balance of terror where everybody’s packing heat.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.