New Georgia Law Allows Gun Owners to Carry Everywhere, Almost

By:  Bob Adelmann
New Georgia Law Allows Gun Owners to Carry Everywhere, Almost

The new Georgia gun rights law is having a happy consequence: As Second Amendment rights are being expanded, so are those guaranteed by the First.

Georgia’s Safe Carry Protections Act went into effect on Tuesday, July 1, and nearly everyone had an opinion about it. The bill, which passed both houses overwhelmingly and was signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal, expands the places where gun owners with licenses to carry may exercise their Second Amendment rights, including churches, schools, bars, and some government buildings.

It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” law so that it applies to those who have been previously convicted of felonies. In addition, the new law prevents a police officer from demanding without cause a person with a gun to produce his or her license to carry it.

Deal exulted, calling it “a great day to reaffirm our liberties," adding, "The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds."

Joining in the exultation was Georgia’s Congressman Paul Broun, a Republican and member of the Tea Party Caucus, who added:

We know that when law-abiding citizens who know how to utilize a firearm have one on their person, it helps prevent crime. This is a law that I think is going to help prevent shootings, that it is going to help prevent crimes.

We see as we go forward that schools are going to be safer, that everybody around in any locale is going to be safer.… I think it’s going to be a very positive move.

On the other hand, Pia Carusone, an advisor to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by former member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords, referred to the new law pejoratively as the “guns everywhere” law and added:

Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines in 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.

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