Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed what critics are calling a “guns everywhere” bill into law on April 23rd. The new law goes into effect on July 1st and will allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons into many more areas, including bars and non-screened areas of airports. Additionally, schools will be permitted to allow employees to carry firearms. Churches are now allowed to permit guns to be carried in, though they are not required to do so. Previously, guns were banned from Georgia churches. Though guns remain banned in secured areas of government buildings, they can be carried in non-secure areas.
“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,” Governor Deal said in a statement. “Georgians cherish their Second Amendment rights, and this law embodies those values.”
Other parts of bill HB60, called the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” prohibit the creation of databases of licensed weapons carriers and removes the Georgia-required license for firearms dealers. It also bars from police from detaining someone for the sole purpose of checking for a firearms license, meaning that those carrying guns cannot be harassed by those calling the authorities every time they see someone carrying a gun. The provisions of the state’s “stand your ground” law are expanded by the new law. Confiscation of firearms during emergencies is now prohibited.
Those in the military will be able to obtain a concealed carry permit at 18 instead of waiting until they’re 21, and the fingerprinting requirement for concealed carry permit renewal has been removed. Hunters will be allowed to hunt with suppressors.
Some of the provisions that gun rights advocates had hoped for, including on-campus carry, were removed from the bill before it was passed.