Georgians may carry guns legally in more places, including public schools, bars, churches and government buildings, under laws taking effect Tuesday.
As of July 1, House Bill 60 (the Safe Carry Protection Act) allows licensed gun owners to bring guns into a variety of places formerly barred. There are a number of rules, requirements and exceptions included in the text of the bill – churches, for example, may decide on an individual basis whether that church will allow guns inside.
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The law also adjusts what weapons may be used for hunting, changes laws regarding guns on college campuses and more.
The bill has been controversial inside Georgia and across the United States.
Georgia is no. 17 in the United States for gun deaths (13 per 100,000), according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. But more people nationwide are carrying guns: 47 percent of U.S. households have a gun, according to Gallup.
In May, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll conducted by SRBI of New York showed 59 percent of Georgia residents disapprove of the new law. However, the same poll revealed that 57 percent of Georgians said they think “owning a gun helps protect people.”