The new law, effective July 1, allows licensed gun owners to bring guns into bars and government buildings that don't have metal detectors, including city halls, libraries, recreational centers, city office buildings, and fire stations, USA Today reported. The "Safe Carry Protection Act" also allows school districts to permit some employees to be armed in schools. It gives religious leaders the option of allowing licensed gun owners to carry their firearms into their respective churches, synagogues, or mosques and will allow people to carry guns.
The new legislation also removes a restriction preventing people convicted of certain misdemeanors from getting a gun permit and, in a provision that has caused some concern among law enforcement officials, police will not be able to detain a person "for the sole purpose of investigating whether such a person has a weapons carry license."
"Our state has some of the best protections for gun owners in the United States. And today we strengthen those rights protected by our nation's most revered founding document," Deal, a Republican, said in a bill-signing ceremony at the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Ellijay, a site he chose because it is in the district of Speaker David Ralston, who worked for passage of the measure in the state House of Representatives.
Jerry Henry, executive director of the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.Org, hailed the new law as a measure that will "restore our right to carry and [we will] be allowed to protect ourselves anywhere we go."
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