Georgia governor passes law allowing guns in churches, schools and bars
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 60 into law on April 23, allowing concealed carry permit-holders to bring their guns into some bars, schools, churches, Georgia airports, and government buildings.
The legislation, known as the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, was described as the "most comprehensive" gun law in Georgia history by the National Rifle Association. The law will take effect on July 1.
Under the Safe Carry Protection Act, church pastors, bar owners, and others can decide whether to allow weapons into their facilities or not.
One pastor who will not be allowing guns in the sanctuary is Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Raphael Warnock.
"I don't know of a single pastor in the state of Georgia who has been lobbying to have guns brought into their churches," Warnock told CNN.
"When we say pass the peace, we mean P-E-A-C-E, not the P-I-E-C-E."
Americans for Responsible Solutions Senior Advisor Pia Carusone stated that the gun law is dangerous and irresponsible.
"Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines at the country's busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children's classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns," she told CNN.
She also stated that Georgia law enforcement agencies, local politicians, and the Transportation Security Administration find the law "potentially harmful" to citizens.
Governor Deal stated that the legislation actually protects law-abiding citizens.
"License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law," he said at a public picnic.
"This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules-- and who can protect themselves and others from those who don't play by the rules."
The Governor stated that about half a million Georgians have a concealed carry permit, or five percent of the State's population.