Georgia Gov Signs 'Guns Everywhere' Bill

Guns now allowed in schools, bars, churches, government buildings, and more

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 23, 2014 12:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – If you want to pack heat at your local bar, church, school or government building, then Georgia is now the state for you. Gov. Nathan Deal today signed a law allowing firearms in all of those places and more, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The law allows schools and churches to "opt-in" to allowing guns, while bars will now have to "opt-out" to ban them. It also expands the state's "stand your ground" rule—according to a recent state analysis, felons will now be able to use it.

"People who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don't," Deal said. Critics have derisively labeled it the "guns everywhere bill," according to NBC News, and Gabby Giffords' gun control organization has called it "the most extreme gun bill in America." But as he signed the law, Deal reminded people that "some of the more [pause] interesting parts were removed," to appease critics. Originally, the law allowed guns on college campuses, and forced churches to opt-out to ban them.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to the media at the Statehouse, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Atlanta.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to the media at the Statehouse, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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There are always opportunities for people to use any piece of legislation as a political tool if they don’t like it. But there was bipartisan support for the bill. - Nathan Deal

Police officers do not want more people carrying guns on the street. - Frank Rotondo, executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, which opposes the law

The important premise we all should remember is these are people who have ... been licensed to carry a weapon. It’s not just someone walking out of the clear blue with none of those background checks. - Nathan Deal

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