Monuments, Georgia-made gun bills introduced

By WALTER C. JONES
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Legislation introduced Tuesday would prohibit local governments from hiding monuments they are no longer proud of.
The measure, House Bill 91, is designed to safeguard statues, plaques and other markers recognizing revolutionary or Confederate heroes from modern sensibilities that may object to views on race held in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, introduced the proposal at the request of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The bill, if passed, would require that monuments be kept in a prominent place.
"We're not saying they can't move them," Benton said. "We're just saying they can't just put them in a field somewhere."
He also introduced a separate bill that would require property owners to give access to the families of people buried in private cemeteries on their land. He said many families have been frustrated that they can't get permission to tend the graves of their ancestors because those who now own the land surrounding the family plots refuse.
• Bill would exempt Georgia-made guns
Guns made in Georgia and sold only within the state would be exempt from federal rules or registration under House Bill 89, introduced Tuesday.
Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, said the state could choose to institute its own regulation of firearms for those that would not be covered under federal law, should his bill pass.
"Basically, the bill is saying the interstate-commerce clause (of the U.S. Constitution) doesn't apply to these weapons," he said.
The Constitution grants sole power to the federal government to oversee the sales of goods and services across state lines, known as interstate commerce. It was originally designed to prevent states from imposing tariffs on each other's' goods, but in the last 50 years, it has been used to control activities from racial segregation to healthcare.
Benton argues that as long as these weapons aren't sold out of state, the federal rules should not apply to them.
In the aftermath of the shooting of 26 people at a school in Connecticut, President Barack Obama and others have called for greater controls on guns. 
"I don't agree with the rhetoric coming out of Washington that we need more gun laws," Benton said.
His is one of several proposals pending in the legislature that would relax gun controls. At the same time, there are alternative proposals that would toughen them.
None have been schedule for consideration in the committees they have been assigned to.


More Local

Community Thanksgiving dinners served today

Free community Thanksgiving dinners will be served at three locations today. There may also be clothing and canned goods available for those ... Read More


Senator to expand legal marijuana debate

A joint state House-Senate committee has spent the past several months studying the possibility of making cannabis oil with a low THC conten ... Read More


Santa Claus coming to downtown

November and December are busy times at the North Pole, but Santa Claus is once again taking a break from his duties there to visit downtown ... Read More


Newnan Council

Camping World’s rezoning request denied

Newnan City Council denied Siren Partners, LLC’s rezoning request for approximately 22 acres on Newnan Crossing Boulevard East to acco ... Read More


Gasoline prices lowest in four years

Gasoline prices have dropped for 62 days straight, and though they aren’t expected to go much lower, they’re not expected to ris ... Read More

NFL pro Ogletree provides meals to families

Newnan native and professional football player Alec Ogletree visited Newnan on Tuesday to give back to his hometown in time for the holiday ... Read More