It would be easy to call Georgia's gun laws "laughable" if we weren't talking about laws that make it just about effortless for just about anyone to buy and tote lethal weapons just about anywhere at just about any time. Unfortunately, that's not the case, and so the state's gun laws might better be described as "deeply troubling," or worse. First, there was the law passed earlier this year that expands Georgia's Stand Your Ground law and allows firearms in airports, libraries, churches and nightclubs. Now, there's Dennis Krauss.
Providing a new example of the Peach State's notoriously permissive gun measures, Ian Millhiser at Think Progress explains how Krauss, an ex-cop who was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 1999, regained his gun rights -- despite the fact that he initially attempted to rape the woman with his gun:
According to the record in Krauss’ trial, the former officer was dispatched to the home of a woman who called 911 alleging that her husband had hit her. Rather than arresting the husband, however, Krauss asked the victim to ride with him in his police car. Once she was in his car, “Krauss told the victim that he could take her to jail if he wanted to” or, if she did not want to be arrested, she could have sex with him instead. Krauss’ words, according to the court opinion, were “[w]e can go to the motel or you can go to jail.”
At the motel, Krauss drew his service weapon and told the woman that he wanted to anally penetrate her with the gun. When she refused, and began to cry, “Krauss then pushed her back, pulled off her pants, and had sex with her.” And then he drove her home to the same husband that led her to call the police in the first place.
In addition to his conviction for sexual assault, Krauss was also charged with several other instances of harassment or disturbing physical violence, including beating a prisoner "so severely the man's brain bled" and threatening to file false charges against another man in order to have sex with his wife, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But neither those allegations nor his sexual assault conviction have permanently prevented Krauss from owning firearms; he regained that right in 2013.
But, as the Journal-Constitution notes in its recent exposé on Georgia's lax gun rights restoration, Krauss is just one of nearly 400 convicted violent offenders to regain access to firearms over a six-year period. Of the 358 violent felons who had their gun rights reinstated, 44 had committed sex crimes and 32 had killed another person. Whether those crimes were committed with firearms is not noted, but it also is not relevant. What is relevant, though, is the felons' histories of sexual and physical violence, which should -- at the absolute very, very least -- be cause for concern about future gun ownership. Apparently, in Georgia, it isn't.