Protesters speak out against Georgia's new vanity plate rules

Protesters speak out against Georgia's new vanity plate rules

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ATLANTA -

Gun rights supporters upset about a new statewide license plate policy took their concerns to the Georgia Department of Revenue Tuesday.

Advocates of gun rights spoke out at a public hearing held at the Revenue Department Headquarters on Tuesday. The hearing comes as state officials consider whether to make permanent an emergency rule on vanity license plates.
 
The new rule followed the recent settlement of a lawsuit in Georgia overuse of the word gay on state license tags. The rule not only bans references to the word gay but references to weapons, drugs and alcohol as well. It went in effect in June and will be in place for 120 days.

Gun rights supporters say that if the rules were to become permanent they would damage citizen rights. They say under the new rule a ban on references to weapons, drugs, and alcohol would damage their rights to free speech.

"We see no reason why you can put other things on there and I have no problem with anything that anybody puts on a license plate with exception of vulgarity, and I don't think that guns should be left in with vulgar words," said Jerry Henry of GeorgiaCarry.org.

The Revenue Department said it would not yet comment on hypothetical license tag references. Final decisions will come later on permanent regulations.
 
These vanity tags are big money makers for the state, but regulating them continues to pose a challenge.

The Revenue Department says its goal is to provide clear guidelines about what is acceptable on license tags. Drivers who are denied a tag request will have the right to appeal.

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