The Georgia parole board’s votes to restore a convicted felon's firearms rights is treated as a “confidential state secret,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Each board member votes in isolation and in secrecy. The five members rarely, if ever, deliberate as a body over restoring offenders' gun rights. They keep no public record of their votes. And they give neither public notice nor public explanation of decisions that enable felons to re-arm – not even to the felons' victims.
Georgia's process for restoring firearms rights to convicted felons, even those who used guns to commit violent crimes, is among the most secretive in the nation and is almost entirely unregulated by the state's open government laws. Why? The board won't say. Through a spokesman, board members declined to be interviewed. They also directed senior staff members not to comment. Some former board members suggest the process is overly secretive and open to abuse.