New Georgia laws go into effect on July 1. From the controversial gun law to the e-cigarettes bill, here's a list of what these laws do and some of the reactions they've caused so far.
The Safe Carry Protection Act, also known as the “guns everywhere” bill will allow firearms in many churches, bars and government buildings. The bill will also bar sheriffs from asking someone with a gun if he or she has a license. Under the new bill, schools would have the option of deciding if teachers or administrators should be armed. The state will also have to report within 10 days Georgians’ involuntary commitments to hospitals.
Governor Nathan Deal signed the sweeping gun bill in April. The law allows churches and places of worship to “opt in” to allowing weapons in church. Since the signing, houses of worship around the state have come out on both sides of the issue. The leadership of Berean Baptist Church has decided to opt in, while Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta says the 109 parishes he leads will not welcome firearms. Nadim Ali, imam at the Community Masjid Atlanta, also says guns will not be allowed in the sanctuary. State school districts aren’t jumping at the option to allow teachers to carry guns. Attorney Philip Hartley, who represents school districts across the state, says many schools are taking a “wait and see” position.
“ I believe that school boards and school administrators are reluctant about any situation that would place guns in the school setting,” said Hartley. “That is not to say there maybe situations where a board for their district or in a particular school might take advantage of this option. But as a matter across the state, I believe there will be a strong reluctance to place more guns into the school in the hands of staff or other personnel.”