The "Guns Everywhere Bill," which Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed on Wednesday, will allow Georgians to exercise their Second Amendment rights in airports, schools, churches, and government buildings, with few caveats. As Politico notes, the National Rifle Association called it the “most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history,” probably because, with a few exceptions, the Safe Carry Protection Act protects your right to carry anywhere.
The full text of the law is available here, but these are the key provisions (all these rules apply to licensed gun holders only):
- Guns are now allowed in government buildings, as long as entry is not "restricted or screened by security personnel."
- Churches and bars can opt-in. If you're caught with a gun in an opt-out church the fine is $100.
- Guns are allowed on schools with written permission from school officials.
- If you accidentally bring your gun into an airport, it's fine. Just please leave.
In February, Georgia lawmakers argued out that gun owners were forgetting to put away their guns when walking through airport security, and were unnecessarily being arrested for it. Now, when a TSA officer reminds you that you're carrying a deadly weapon, you'll just be asked to leave. No harm, no foul, as long as "upon being notified at a screening checkpoint or secure access area that they are in possession of a weapon, the license holder immediately leaves the area," the law says. Last year 111 firearms were confiscated by the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, more than any other airport. The next closest, with 19, was the Los Angeles International Airport, where a gunman killed one and injured three last November.
It's important to note that there were a few amendments to the law. Gov. Deal opposed provisions in the law that would have allowed guns on college campuses, and lawmakers decided to give churches the right to opt-in or out of the law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Seventy percent of Georgians opposed that measure, according to The New York Times. The same number also oppose guns in bars. They must not be familiar with the Constitution.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.