Governor signs new gun law

Governor Deal signed a new gun law Wednesday affecting churches, schools and other public places.

"I will put into law a gun bill that heralds self-defense, personal liberties and public safety," said Deal.

Under the new law, people may bring a gun into a government building that does not have guards or metal detectors. That includes public airport terminals outside the security zone. It excludes guns from secured buildings such as courthouses.

Licensed gun-owners will be able to bring their weapons onto private property, including businesses such as bars, but the owner can order them to leave. Violators who refuse can be charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

An earlier version of the bill would have kept people carrying guns from even entering a bar unless the owner had chosen to allow firearms..

The co-owner of the Hummingbird bar, Victor Stanley, says they won't allow guns there.

"We serve all kinds of people. And some people don't like other people. You know, if someone gets offended, well they can either duke it out like grown men or leave, but you're not gonna bring out a firearm to solve your problems in my business," said Stanley.

Pastor Eddie Smith with Macedonia Church in Macon also has a choice. Under the new law churches can choose whether to allow guns.

"Guns are all right in their places I think. But our country has a shift where so many people are abusing guns. And Macedonia will not open up our doors for guns," said Smith.

If someone brings a gun into the church, Smith says security will handle it.

And public school officials can decide if they want to arm employees.

"I think the last thing a teacher needs is a gun," said Steve Smith, Bibb County interim superintendent.

Aside from campus police Smith says he doesn't want employees carrying firearms.

"I mean sometimes we may say in jest they learn more if I held a gun over them but that's certainly not something that needs to take place. I don't think you necessarily become a better teacher by the ability to show a display of force," said Smith.


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