- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2020

Two gun rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday against a Georgia judge who suspended concealed carry permit applications in his county, arguing that the decision violates the Second Amendment.

The Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta against Cherokee County Probate Judge Keith Wood, the county itself and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Lisa Walters, a member of both gun groups. She said she was barred from applying for a new concealed carry license, locally known as a Georgia Weapons License or GWL. Ms. Walters had let a previous GWL lapse.

Judge Wood suspended all GWL applications last month, citing measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But he allowed his office to continue processing wedding licenses and other paperwork.

The Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition say Cherokee County’s refusal to accept new concealed carry applications through May 13 deprives residents of their rights under the Constitution.

“Plaintiff Walters is concerned about her safety and the safety of her family, particularly in light of the current public health crisis and the associated psychological and economic pressures increasing the potential of societal dangers as people face a scarcity of resources,” the groups wrote in the lawsuit.

Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs said in a statement that Georgia residents must be allowed to exercise their freedoms during the pandemic.

“Governments cannot eliminate the right of law-abiding adults to carry handguns for self-defense in public, which is all the pertinent in these troubled times,” Mr. Combs said.

A spokesman for Mr. Kemp said they haven’t seen the lawsuit and could not comment on pending litigation.

Judge Wood did not respond to a request for comment.

Georgians, like other citizens across the country, have been stocking up on guns and ammunition during the coronavirus pandemic.

The FBI last month ran 84,601 gun background checks on Georgia residents, up from roughly 54,250 in February and 56,804 in March 2019.

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