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IN SCHOOLS, BARS, CHURCHES: Georgia signs into law 'guns everywhere bill'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/24/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Gun rights advocates applaud controversial signing.

In schools, in bars and in churches: People in the state of Georgia will be able to carry their guns with them everywhere, after a provision that has been called the "guns everywhere bill" was signed into law by the governor this week.

The new law 'also bars law enforcement officials from checking gun permits, which some say nullifies the licensing process.'

The new law "also bars law enforcement officials from checking gun permits, which some say nullifies the licensing process."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/24/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Georgia, guns everywhere, Governor Nathan Deal


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Governor Nathan Deal says the bill will allow "people who follow the rules [to] protect themselves and their families from people who don't follow the rules.

"The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefronts of our minds," Deal said.

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The new law "also bars law enforcement officials from checking gun permits, which some say nullifies the licensing process."

Under the sweeping new law, school districts would have the prerogative to allow some employees to carry firearms. According to a recent analysis, the law "could let felons use the state's 'stand your ground' rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened."

Deal said voters shouldn't forget what got left out of the bill. Among the controversial proposals that didn't survive were the "campus carry" provision, which would have legalized the carrying of guns on campus, and changes that would have required houses of worship to allow guns unless leaders ban them. Religious leaders can instead "opt-in" to allow guns into their congregations.

The powerful gun rights lobby in Georgia has made it their top priority. Even Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, his party's nominee for governor, voted for the bill. Echoing Deal, Carter told MSNBC this week that he believed he helped "make the bill better than it was when it first started." Carter is former President Jimmy Carter's grandson.

Among the vocal opponents of the "guns everywhere" bill is former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who has tried to block its passage. Supporters have flooded Deal's office with pleas to sign the measure, which the National Rifle Association called "the most comprehensive pro-gun reform bill in state history."

Deal tried to downplay the warnings from critics that the law could endanger police officers and lead to more violence. "The important premise we all should remember is these are people who have their fingerprints taken, their backgrounds checked and they have been licensed to carry a weapon. It's not just someone walking out of the clear blue with none of those background checks. They've been subjected to scrutiny of the state."

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