It is now legal for licensed gun owners in Georgia to carry guns in bars, schools, churches and some government buildings.
On Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, signed the state’s “Safe Carry Protection Act,” which critics called the “guns everywhere bill,” in north Georgia, on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest and Cohutta Wilderness area.
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“Our state has some of the best protections for gun owners in the United States. And today we strengthen those rights protected by our nation’s most revered founding document,” Deal said in signing the bill.
The new law, which goes into effect July 1, will allow licensed gun owners in Georgia and visitors from 28 other states to bring a gun into a bar without restrictions and carry a firearm into some government buildings that don’t have security measures.
It will also allow school districts to decide whether they want some employees to carry a firearm and religious leaders to decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to carry guns into their church, synagogue or mosque.
Since Jan. 1, 6 states have eased their gun laws, 6 states have strengthened them and 4 states have both eased and strengthened firearm laws, according to Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.