Gov. Deal signs gun bill into legislation

Gov. Deal signed House Bill 60 (HB 60) into legislation on April 23. The law defines specific public places where guns may be carried in Georgia, including government buildings and bars.

HB 60, also known as the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” allows individuals the ability to carry weapons into designated public places.

The bill states guns may be carried to places of worship if permitted by authority of the church. They will also be allowed in airport common areas and unsecured government buildings without security checkpoints or metal detectors, according to the act’s specifications.

Additionally, the new law states school officials at universities have the ability to vote whether or not they will allow faculty and staff members to bring weapons on campus. Prior to law, licensed gun owners could bring weapons to school if they received permission from authorized officials, according to NBC reports.

The “Campus Carry” provision, which would have legalized carrying guns onto campus, was rejected from HB 60, according to the AJC. The bill states campus police and school security are the only individuals currently authorized to carry weapons on campus.

Gregory Williams, a freshman student at Georgia State, said it was unfair for faculty to have the ability to carry guns on campus while students were not. He also said neither should have the ability at all.

“It puts undue responsibility in the hands of citizens,” Williams said. “I feel that only enforcement should have it [guns] on public grounds.”

First year Ph.D student Helene Goarzin said she would not feel reassured if she saw people carrying guns around her, especially on campus.

Sophomore student Sofia Saldivarcano said she would prefer weapons kept off campus unless it was security.

Despite Gov. Deal receiving support from organizations such as the National Rifle Association, critics have called HB 60 the “Guns Everywhere” bill, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC).

HB 60 will officially go into effect on July 1, the AJC states.