Firearms. Some people love them; some people fear them. Gun control in the South, a subject of much debate, is slowly changing in an unexpected direction. Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 60 into law on Wednesday.
The bill allows people with a weapons permit to carry their loaded gun into a bar, as long as they do not consume alcohol, but does not provide funding for the enforcement of that prohibition.
It also allows school districts to designate staff members to carry guns for student defense but does not provide funding for the training of those staff members. This bill was passed by Repujxgjgublicans and Democrats alike after much debate during the final night of the 2014 legislative session.
HB60 also sanctions carrying guns in public areas of an airport and diminishes the criminal charges for permit holders who are caught with their firearms before clearing an airport security screening. It is still required that a passenger must check a firearm according to airline regulations if they plan to travel with the weapon.
Any individual, including felons, can now claim the Stand Your Ground defense with the passing of this new bill. Stand Your Ground states someone who “reasonably believes” his life is in danger has no duty to walk away and may instead shoot to kill.
The requirements for obtaining a weapons carry permit are minimal. You fill out paperwork, pay a fee and wait. There is no safety course required. Anyone who wants to own a gun can, with the exception of felons and the mentally disabled.
Many students and faculty are concerned about the possible repercussions of this new law with the rapid change in legislation while others are excited about the passing of the bill.
The editorial staff is divided on the issue. Some are in favor of the new legislation and feel that loosening gun restraint will only further protect innocent people.
But other staff members feel that allowing more guns in more places would be more shootings bringing more death.
Around every corner in the South, there is someone somewhere with a gun. Georgia is a state filled with Second Amendment advocates and the passing of this bill is only the start to loosening the reigns on gun control.