Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageGeorgia passes 'carry anywhere' bill expanding gun rights

By Scott Tuttle     Apr 24, 2014 in Politics
Defying other states that are moving to increase gun control in the wake of recent shootings, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill Wednesday that will expand licensed gun owners' rights to carry.
The Safe Carry Protection Act, or the "carry anywhere" bill, as many of its opponents call it, will remove all restrictions in bars for gun owners with a permit to carry. Bar owners will still be allowed to enforce their own private restrictions on patrons bringing in guns, but the new law prevents the government from enforcing such measures.
Gun owners will also be permitted to carry their arms in some government buildings, particularly those without metal detecting equipment or security check points, and in churches, given that the religious leaders don't impose a private restriction.
Perhaps the most controversial part of the bill, which will take effect on July 1, is that it allows school administrators to authorize personnel to carry guns. These staff member may include teachers.
"House Bill 60 will protect law-abiding citizens by expanding the number of places that they can carry their guns without penalty, while at the same time this bill respects the rights of private property owners who still set the rules for their land and their buildings," said Governor Deal.
The bill passed overwhelming by the Republican-dominated vote, but some key Democrats also came out in support of the measure, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's grandson, Senator Jason Carter, who is running for Governor in November's election.
“We’ve allowed communities to make those decisions for themselves,” said Senator Carter to NBC news. “There’s not an issue that I know of that’s more geographically polarizing than guns. And there are some communities in my state that will feel safer if their school districts are allowed to make those decisions. And there’re other communities where they won’t. And those communities will get to decide for themselves.”
Though the law allows private entities to enforce their own gun restrictions on those who set foot on their property, it does not allow law enforcement officials to arrest or fine violators more than $100 if they are licensed to carry a gun while caught in the act. Thus many proprietors who oppose the bill fear that it will do little to protect them in restricting guns on their premises.
“I don’t know of a single pastor in the state of Georgia who has been lobbying to have guns brought into their churches,” said Rev Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where a 1974 shooting took place killing a deacon and Martin Luther King's mother, Alberta Williams King. “When we say pass the peace, we mean P-E-A-C-E, not the P-I-E-C-E.”
It is still unclear whether or not any school districts intend to take advantage of their rights to arm staff, but supporters and opponents are clearly divided on their hopes and fears as to what will happen next as a result of the new law.
According to a spokesman for Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group started by former Arizona congresswoman Gaby Giffords, the legislation “forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children's classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns.”
More about Georgia, Gun control, Second amendment, carry anywhere, Gun bill
More news from
Latest News
Top News