On February 18 the Georgia House overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow guns at schools, churches, bars, and certain government buildings.
The measure passed by a margin of 119 to 56.
Titled the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” the legislation not only expands the number of places in which concealed carry permit holders can carry guns but also reduces the punishment permit holders face for carrying in a no-carry area unaware.
According to the Associated Press, the bill “could allow teachers to carry firearms, while others with licenses could take their guns into houses of worship, more bars and government offices.”
The Georgia General Assembly homepage explains that the allowance to carry in government offices–or a “government building”–applies only to such buildings which are “not restricted or screened by security personnel during the hours the government building is open for business.”
Part of the impetus behind the “Safe Carry Protection Act” is to reduce the danger posed by gun free zones, which bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) said “are gun free to the good guys only.”
State Rep. Al Williams (D-Atlanta) criticized the bill, describing it as a “voter mobilization bill…[that] ain’t got nothing to do with gun control.”
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