Governor Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) Wednesday will kick off legalization of House Bill 60, a new gun bill that may go down as the most expansive in history, with an old-fashioned barbecue.
The bill’s signing, which should double as a Second-Amendment rally, will open up gun rights in ways never before imagined in Georgia.
Under the new bill, police officers will not be allowed to ask someone to present a license if they are carrying a firearm; schools will have the option to choose to arm teachers and administrators; guns will now be allowed in many government buildings, bars and churches.
While Georgia lawmakers have opened up the ability to carry guns throughout the state, they will still not be allowed in the capitol building.
The National Rifle Association has referred to the bill as “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history.”
Second-Amendment advocates have lit up social media with their praise for Gov. Deal’s new bill.
“It’s a good day to be a Georgian! Especially if you’re a Yankee transplant from a gun-restrictive state like me!” one Georgia resident wrote on Twitter.
After months of lobbying from university administrators across the state, the new lax gun laws will not come into play in college campuses.
The bill also paves the way for the future of the controversial “stand your ground” law. Under the new bill, people will not be able to be prosecuted for a felony if they injure someone in self-defense.
While many have praised the bill, others have criticized the consequences it could pose on future legislation and crime.
“To expand it in such a way to remove all carrying or possession offenses is really unprecedented,” said Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and employee of a gun-safety group.
“Really Georgia? What kind of responsible Gov allows guns to be carried in schools & churches etc. Can they carry one in YOUR office, I hope?” one Twitter user wrote.
While the law no longer requires firearms dealers from having a state license, it will require Georgia to send reports to the National Instant Criminal Background System if people are involuntary hospitalized or deemed a threat. This organization could then strip someone of his or her right to own a gun.
As Gov. Deal gathers his supporters at the bill signing and barbecue Wednesday, people will continue to speculate whether expanded Second-Amendment rights will work, or whether the people waiting for the next national tragedy will have more ammunition for their argument.
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