In one of the most controversial moves to date, the state of Georgia has passed a Bill that will soon legally allow those with a license to carry guns in more public places.
But it is the type of places that seems to be the greatest cause of concern. Namely, churches, bars, government buildings and even schools. This new “victory” for a gun-toting public leaves many people to wonder, how could this possibly end well?
The news follows Gov. Deal’s signature this past Wednesday on a Bill celebrated by supporters as a victory for the 2nd Amendment; but decried by critics as the “guns-everywhere bill.”
“We Georgians believe in the right of people to defend themselves, and we believe in the 2nd Amendment.” The measure drew national attention because of its sweep and its passage after a number of high-profile shootings around the country.
The Safe Carry Protection Act, which takes effect July 1, will permit licensed gun owners to take firearms into places that will allow them; such as houses of worship, bars and non-secure areas of airports. Additionally, this extends to government buildings (except past security checkpoints).
The National Rifle Assn called the legislation the “most comprehensive pro-gun bill in Georgia state history.” Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, a group that pushed for the Bill’s passage, said by phone that the law will “give the law-abiding citizen more protection in more places.’’
Deal said the Georgia legislation would “protect law-abiding citizens by expanding the number of places they can carry their guns.” The governor received 3,012 letters, emails and phone calls urging him to sign the bill and 1,887 asking him to veto it, according to his office.
However Kathryn Grant, Georgia state director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, opposes the Bill passage and stated in an interview,
“To say that we’re disappointed is an understatement.’’
The Somewhere in Augusta Bar & Grill, also opposes the Bill. A sign on their front door reads, “No Weapons Permitted,” as co-owner Cynthia Fiske told the Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t like the idea of guns in bars.
“When people are drinking, tempers can flare high.”
The law also would permit schools to arm staff members and lower the age from 21 to 18 for active members of the military to obtain gun licenses.
It would forbid the confiscation of firearms during an emergency, a response to authorities taking guns in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The measure also would offer defendants an “absolute defense” in court if a gun is used in the face of a violent attack.
The gun debate has intensified in the wake of high-profile gun violence, such as the shooting rampages at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Go to the Los Angeles Times to read more on this story including which other states have strengthened or relaxed their gun laws;
See video news report below.
Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for information used in this article.