Gov. Nathan Deal signs bill expanding Georgia gun rights

ELLIJAY, Ga. -- There are now more places you can carry your gun across the state.

Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation expanding where people with licenses can bring their guns.

A few hundred gun rights advocates gathered to watch the bill signing at an event in Ellijay, with top officials including House Speaker David Ralston and bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jasperse. Many of those in attendance were wearing pistols on their hips.

The bill also drew some in-state opposition. People will be able to carry firearms in government buildings that don't have metal detectors, such as city halls, libraries, recreational centers, city office buildings and fire stations. The Georgia Municipal Association, which represents the state's 538 cities, asked Deal to veto it. "Local elected officials are responsible for securing and maintaining public safety, and insurance coverage, in buildings owned and operated by the city. Therefore, they should have the authority to make a decision about whether to allow weapons in such buildings," GMA said in a letter to Deal.

Read a summary of the law's main provisions here.

The bill makes several changes to state law. It allows those with a license to carry to bring a gun into a bar without restriction and into some government buildings that don't have certain security measures. It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it's OK for a person with a carry license to bring a gun into their place of worship.


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