Georgia Bill Would Allow Guns in Company Parking Lots

Proposed legislation would supersede company prohibition of guns in cars in parking lots


Part 3 of Article 4 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to carrying and possession of firearms, is amended by adding a new Code Section 16-11-135 to read as follows:

"16-11-135.

(a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the 'Georgia's Self-Defense Act.'

(b) It is the intent of this Code section to reinforce and protect the right of each law-abiding citizen to enter and exit any parking lot, parking facility, or space used for the parking of motor vehicles while such person is lawfully transporting or storing a firearm or firearms in the motor vehicle and the firearm or firearms are locked in or locked to the motor vehicle, to avail himself or herself of temporary or long-term parking or storage of a motor vehicle, and to prohibit any infringement of the right to lawful possession of firearms when such firearms are being transported or stored in a vehicle for a lawful purpose. It is not the intent of this Code section to repeal any existing Code section or federal law, rule, or regulation which, by law, prohibits the possession or transportation of weapons or firearms on public or private property. This Code section shall not apply to an electric generating facility owned or operated by a public utility.

(c) As used in this Code section, the term 'motor vehicle' means any automobile, truck, minivan, sports utility vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, or any other vehicle.

(d) It shall be lawful for any person who may lawfully possess firearms to park a motor vehicle on any property set aside for the parking of a motor vehicle, whether or not such property is designated as a parking lot, parking facility, or parking space, when the person is lawfully transporting or storing a firearm or firearms in the motor vehicle and the firearm or firearms are locked in or locked to the motor vehicle; provided, however, that a property owner may prohibit persons from possessing or storing firearms in motor vehicles on such owner's property if such owner provides and maintains a system for the checking, storing, and securing of such firearms during the time such persons are present on the owner's property and such owner gives notice of such prohibition and the availability of the system for checking, storing, and securing of such firearms while on such property. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense.

(e) No person or business entity shall be liable in any civil action for any occurrence which results from, is connected with, or is incidental to the use of a firearm which is being lawfully transported or stored in a locked motor vehicle on any property set aside for the parking of motor vehicles as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, unless such person or owner of the business entity commits a criminal act involving the use of such firearm or unless the person or owner of the business entity had prior knowledge or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have had prior knowledge that the person using such a firearm presented a threat of harm to others on the business premises.

(f) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to create a duty of inspecting motor vehicles or otherwise give rise to civil liability against a business entity or property owner or possessor as a result of any occurrence which results from, is connected with, or is incidental to the use of a firearm being transported and stored in a motor vehicle whether such transport and storage is lawful or not. The business entity or property owner or possessor is entitled to presume any such transport or storage is lawful."