In 2014, Georgia legislature passed House Bills (HB) 60 and 826. HB 826 sought to decriminalize the carrying of weapons in school areas because previous laws required mandatory penalties for those caught with weapons on school property. Several situations arose that inspired the laxer law – situations in which students were expelled or charged with felonies for possessing a seatbelt knife or a knife kept in a tackle box. The law also allows holders of Georgia Weapons Carry Licenses (GWCL) to possess weapons on school grounds as long as they have a reason to be present there.
After the bills were signed into law, the Georgia Code Revision Committee was responsible for integrating them into the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), a list of the state’s laws. The Committee neglected to include the GWCL provision of HB 826, prompting the Georgia Carry Organization (GCO) to file a writ of mandamus in early 2015 – an order from a superior court to remedy an act performed by a subordinate court, corporation, or public authority – demanding that the Committee edit the Code to include the GWCL provision. A Fulton County Superior Court judge subsequently dismissed the suit.
Undaunted, the GCO also sought a writ of quo warranto in October of 2015, a challenge to the Committee’s right or power they claim to hold. The trial court denied the writ application, inspiring the GCO to appeal the decision.
Georgia’s Supreme Court heard the case and supported the trial court’s decision. It noted that Georgia statute dictates that a writ of quo warranto be issued by a person rather than an organization. The Court then determined that the GCO did not qualify as a person or as an organization that could represent itself on behalf of a person because “Georgia Carry [had] not satisfied the requirement that the interests that it seeks to protect are germane to the organization’s purpose in any manner that would establish that it had associational standing to pursue a writ of quo warranto on behalf of its members.”