Deal signs bill to let corrections retirees retain firearms

At the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association’s annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner in Glennville today, Gov. Nathan Deal signed two bills, one that allows long-serving officers to keep their firearms when they retire and another to promote Georgia Grown products.

HB 482 allows former certified employees of the Department of Corrections and Pardons & Paroles to retain their department-issued duty weapon upon leaving their respective department. Employees are eligible to retain their department-issued duty weapon after accumulating 20 or more years of service as a certified officer.

“This legislation provides an opportunity to reward men and women who have served our state honorably and dutifully,” Deal said in a statement. “These two agencies will now have the same privileges as the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation when it comes to department-issued weapon retention.”

HB 298 provides for an Agriculture Commodity Commission for Georgia Grown products. Funding will come from those producers and agribusinesses who voluntarily choose to utilize the “Georgia Grown” trademark. The bill also makes changes to the Georgia Cotton Commission by increasing producer members of the commission from five to seven.

“Agriculture is Georgia’s No. 1 industry, and as governor I want to see that the farmers and producers of our state have every opportunity to succeed,” said Deal. “This commission will assist in raising awareness to local and national retailers of the high-quality product that we produce right here at home.”

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