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'Don't know how it works, you're dangerous': Gun owners want training in Ga. 'constitutional carry' bill

A bill allowing any adult with a clean criminal record to legally carry a gun is headed to the Georgia House.

MACON, Ga. —  A bill allowing any adult with a clean criminal record to legally carry a gun is headed to the Georgia House. The Georgia Senate passed the Concealed Carry Bill on Monday.

The owner of Eagle Gun Range in Macon, Hamp Dowling, says he is for the "Constitutional Carry Law," but would like training to be a requirement.

"Just like anything, just like driving or doing anything else, if you don't know how it works, you're dangerous," Dowling said.

The bill gets rid of the need for a license to carry a handgun in public. It also gets rid of the current background check requirement. Republican Governor Brian Kemp backs the bill, saying Georgians should have their constitutional rights protected and be able to protect themselves during a spike in violent crime.

William Shepherd is a trainer at the Eagle Gun Range

"People who don't follow the law carry anyway, and it puts us at a disadvantage. If you want to carry to protect yourself but you're not able to, you have to wait through a long process," Shepherd said.

He says he started shooting for fun.

"It's a sport, and I tell people, 'It's all about how you think about it.' If I look at a hammer and see it as a killing machine, then I am scared of the hammer, but if I look at the hammer as something that hammers nails in, then I see it for what it is," Shepherd said.

John Rogers has lived in Georgia all his life. He says he's not 100% on the bandwagon with "constitutional carry."

"I believe that we have it perfectly squared away with the concealed carry license that we have here," Rogers said. 

Dowling says he still likes the carry license because it registers that you know what you are doing.

"It says anybody who is a law-abiding citizen may carry a concealed firearm. Well, there are a lot of law-abiding folks that don't know a whole lot about firearms," Dowling said.

Georgians are still waiting to see whether the pending bill in the Georgia legislature becomes law. 

The owner Dowling says Eagle Gun Range provides firearms and safety training for anyone who wants to get it.

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