Governor Nathan Deal (R,Ga) signed a bill into law that allows loaded guns to be carried almost everywhere by law abiding citizens, including stores, bars, libraries, museums, schools and some government buildings, according to ABC News on Wednesday. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, even will allow some people who have been convicted of misdemeanors to carry guns in public after attaining their gun permits.
Under the new law, police will be prohibited from stopping motorists just to determine if they have weapons permits as is the current practice. However, businesses, churches, schools, and other public entities still will be able to prohibit citizens from carrying guns on their facilities if they put up a sign stating that no guns are allowed on their premises. However, a school will not be able to do so without a vote from the school board. Ironically, school districts will be put into a position of having to seek board approval to disallow guns, rather than to allow them.
Governor Neal's rationale for his actions was that he had signed "every other" piece of Second Amendment legislation that had crossed his desk and that he is signing another piece of legislation that "heralds self-defense, personal liberties and public safety."
Georgia citizens who were interviewed claimed that this was "a tremendous victory for law abiding citizens" and such legislation was "long overdue." Yet another citizen heralded the fact that the new law enables citizens to protect themselves:
“You should still have the right to be able to protect yourself."
Opponents of the new law, including advocates of the Brady Bill which calls for strict gun controls, call the bill "tragic." Dan Gross, the President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, stated:
“To do it in the name of safety? It’s beyond preposterous. It’s tragic. You know, guns and alcohol don’t mix and yea, that’s one of the most dangerous aspects of this.”
According to Dr. Phil, five children are killed by guns per day in America, either from accidental shootings or suicides. Gun rights advocates promote the well known saying, "Guns don't kill people, people do." This causes one to ponder the following: Would these numbers of childhood accidental shootings and suicides from guns be any less if access to guns was not so easy, if guns were not so readily available in homes, or if gun sales were not so vehemently promoted at gun auctions? It is a question worthy of some serious thought and consideration as the law abiding citizens of Georgia get ready to pack and carry virtually everywhere to "protect" themselves from real or imagined parties yet unknown.