UK & World News

  • 24 April 2014, 11:10

Guns Can Be Carried In Schools Under New Law

Georgia has passed a law that allows people with a licence to carry a gun into bars and, in certain cases, in schools, churches and government buildings.

Opponents of the law call it "guns everywhere" legislation, while supporters hail it as a victory for the constitutional right to bear arms.

The bill, approved by Georgia's General Assembly - where Republicans control large majorities - has been signed by Governor Nathan Deal.

"This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules and who can protect themselves and others from those who don't play by the rules," Mr Deal said in a statement.

The measure is due to take effect on July 1.

It permits hunters to use silencers and authorises schools to allow staff members to carry weapons on campus.

Churches can allow worshipers to bring guns to services under the law, but are not required to do so.

Previous Georgia law banned firearms from churches and bars.

Guns could be brought into some government buildings that do not have certain security measures, such as metal detectors or security guards screening visitors.

In the face of mass shootings in recent years, some states have pursued stronger limits on guns while others like Georgia have taken the opposite path.

But the measure has also drawn criticism.

The group Americans for Responsible Solutions said: "The bill is extremism in action; it moves Georgia out of the mainstream."

The group is co-founded by former Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived being shot in 2011 and started a nationwide campaign on gun control.

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