On July 1st, a new law came into effect in the state of Georgia. This law allows residents and visitors of the state to carry guns in places that were formerly off limits such as bars, classrooms, and governmental institutions. The law, aptly dubbed the Georgia Guns Everywhere Law by critics, has been viewed as one of the most ground breaking legislative acts regarding personal gun ownership in the state. However, carrying a concealed firearm still requires residents to hold a gun permit. Today, we examine the new law. Does the Georgia guns everywhere law work so far?
Under the new law, gun owners may now allowed to carry their weapons in places that were previously off limits such as airports. Citizens still cannot carry their firearms into a Transportation Security Administration Checkpoint. Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for TSA, told CNN that it is yet unclear how this new bill will affect one of the busiest airports in the world, Hartsfield Jackson International, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The law also allows religious leaders to decide whether or not they want to admit people carrying guns into their place of worship. These places include churches, temples, prayer houses, and synagogues. Furthermore, the law extends to residents of 28 other states who visit Georgia. The guns everywhere bill reduces the penalty against permit owners caught carrying weapons on college campuses from a misdemeanor to a fine. The Guns Everywhere bill does state that gun permit holders may only carry firearms inside bars or nightclubs as long as they don’t consume any alcohol. Schools may decide to require staff members carry weapons. Permit holders may also carry weapons inside government buildings with no metal detectors. Finally, the law now allows felons to call for the “stand your ground” defense if they shoot a deadly weapon under threat.
Does the Georgia Guns Everywhere Law Work So Far – The Background of Georgia’s Guns Everywhere Law
The bill which was formally called the Safe Carry Protection Act was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal. Official data regarding Atlanta Georgia firearm ownership estimates there are 600,000 gun permit holders in the entire state. Georgia’s General Assembly, which is largely controlled by a Republican majority, passed the act on the final day of this year’s legislative session. While several other states such as Missouri, Tennessee, and Oklahoma created similar bills, the Georgia bill notably extends the right to carry a weapon in previously off-limit locations. Republican Governor Nathan Deal has an NRA A rating and is known as a long standing supporter of looser gun restrictions in the state. He is running for another governor term in the November 4th polls.
Does the Georgia Guns Everywhere Law Work So Far For Local Residents?
Gun ownership remains a divisive issue in America. The new Georgia law only provided further proof of this. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg survey revealed that while gun owners (and men over 50) were pleased with the new law, non-owners were less than thrilled. Of the respondents to the poll, 45 percent were gun owners. 73 percent of this remaining 55 percent were non-owners who stated they oppose the law. Political opponents of the bill have referred to it as a “kill bill” of sorts.
A poll for The Atlanta Georgia Constitution says 70 percent of state residents oppose the law. Several Georgia organizations have lobbied against the bill. These groups include TSA, religious groups, gun control advocates, the state’s restaurant association, and the police chiefs group. Interestingly enough, many residents weren’t even aware the law had been passed. Bar and club owners expressed confusion as to how they could keep guns out of their establishments if they so desired.
On the other side of the debate, the National Rifle Association praised the law and referred to it as the “most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent history.” Several locals expressed their support in the media as well. The British Telegraph quotes 27 year-old Dennis Kast arguing that wrongdoers will carry firearms in bars anyway and that law observing Americans should be legally allowed to do the same thing. Buddy Simpson, a member of the Georgia Carry pro-gun ownership group that helped pass the law, says that “being able to choose whether or not to carry a gun is an integral part of being an American.” Georgia Carry members applauded the passing of the law. They had hoped it would go further by allowing gun owners to carry on college campuses. Georgia Carry owners argue that gun control legislation simply punishes law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to prevent crime. Supporters of the law also say that criminals purposely target gun-free areas. They claim this justifies the need to arm school staff.
That’s it for today’s post. If you live in Georgia and you’re interested in attending courses on gunsmithing, check out some of these institutions near your local area: Atlanta, Decatur, Augusta, Savannah, Macon.