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Friday, March 8, 2013 - 9:27am

Bill Expands Guns Access For Mentally Ill

While some states push to tighten gun control laws, Georgia lawmakers are moving toward easing rules preventing some mentally ill people from getting licenses to carry firearms.

House lawmakers voted 117-56 on Thursday to allow people who have voluntarily sought inpatient treatment for mental illness or substance abuse to get such licenses.

The same bill also attempts to make it easier for officials to check on whether applicants have ever received involuntary treatment. Georgia also may change its laws to allow people to carry guns in churches, bars and on college campuses.

Judges now have discretion over whether to issue a license to carry a weapon to anyone who has received inpatient treatment at a mental hospital or substance abuse treatment center in the last five years.