Guns would be allowed in churches, bars and schools under a Georgia bill heard in committee Thursday.

Members of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee are considering House Bill 875 — known as the Safe Carry Act.

Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, is a member of the committee. He said the “Second Amendment bill” emphasizes the rights of private property owners and their ability to enforce who can carry a weapon on their land.

“It’s important to note that the purpose of the bill is to increase where licensed holders can carry weapons,” Lumsden said. “And since it is in committee, it is subject to change.”

Part of the 26-page bill removes churches and bars from the list of locations where weapons are prohibited and treats them as normal private property.

Property owners retain the right to decide whether they will allow weapons.

The bill also provides school systems the right to allow teachers and administrators to carry guns in school safety zones, as long as they are authorized by a school official and take part in training determined by the school.

The bill also addresses access to government buildings, as it would allow guns in locations that do not have active screening by security personnel during normal business hours.

“This exempts places like courthouses and jails, obviously,” Lumsden said.

HB 875 also requires public housing authorities to allow their tenants to own guns and have them in their residences unless required by federal law or regulation.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, was filed on Jan. 28 and introduced in the House last Friday before being assigned to committee.

Lumsden said they had hearings on it Wednesday and Thursday, and he wasn’t sure when it would make it to the floor for a vote.


Recommended for you