Georgians react to expanded gun rights bill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Georgians react to expanded gun rights bill

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RINGGOLD, GA (Times Free Press) - It's official.

A new bill in Georgia will give people more flexibility on where to carry their guns.

Governor Nathan Deal signed the "Safe Carry Protection Act" bill Wednesday afternoon. Critics call it the "Guns Everywhere Bill" and say it's extreme and dangerous. But supporters say the bill is simply about restoring Second Amendment rights by letting licensed gun owners carry in more places.

READ MORE | What the new law means

"It may not be a good idea to carry a gun in a bar," said Walker County Resident Jack Melton. "But other places like churches, it may actually be a good idea for someone to be armed."

Walker County Resident Jack Melton is a licensed gun owner. He doesn't think carrying guns in bars is a good idea but he's more open to having guns in other places.

Starting in July, if you have a carry permit in Georgia:
  • You can pack heat in a bar until you're told to leave.
  • You can bring a gun to church with the religious leader's blessing.
  • You can walk into an unsecured government building armed. That does not include, for example, the Hamilton County Courthouse which has metal detectors and security officers.
  • With the school board's approval, teachers and school staff members can carry guns in schools under certain conditions.
  • If you're caught at the airport with your gun, you can take it and leave without being arrested.

Additionally, the state will no longer keep a database of licensed owners. Fingerprinting is also no longer a requirement for renewing a carry license. 

Melton said the new bill won't change how often he carries but said he mostly supports the changes.

"Lots of times I feel like more people should carry guns because of the fact that sometimes the bad guys come in and start shooting everybody and nobody is armed," he said.

The new law will take effect July 1.
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