In just hours Georgia's new gun law goes into effect. One of its provisions allows Georgia school districts to let teachers carry guns. But no district is jumping at the option so far. Attorney Philip Hartley represents school districts across the state. All Things Considered host Rickey Bevington spoke with Hartley about the upcoming chances and reactions from school districts around the state.
The Georgia Safe Carry Protection Act empowers licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into all government-owned buildings, if and when they are open to the public. Officials in Macon say at least one performer is threatening to pull out of an upcoming concert at one of two city-owned venues because there could be guns in the crowd.
Last month, 119 state legislators in the House voted for a sweeping gun bill that, if Gov. Nathan Deal signs it into law, would loosen restrictions on taking firearms into churches, government buildings and other places previously off-limits. Republicans pushed the measure, after failing to pass a similar bill in the waning moments of the 2013 legislative session. But three Democrats were among those ratifying the bill in the House. And another person supporting gun legislation was state Senator Jason Carter, a Decatur Democrat who’s running against Republican Governor Nathan Deal.
The pace of business at the State Capitol has quickened, and that’s especially true for certain types of business. Lawmakers looking to push controversial measures are grafting parts of their bills onto other pieces of legislation that are fairly vanilla. Thursday afternoon, the House was about to vote on a bill to expand services to Alzheimer’s patients. Then all of a sudden, the Majority Whip, Atlanta Republican Rep. Ed Lindsey, arrived with an amendment that would block state agencies from carrying out any of the mandates of the Affordable Care Act.
On Tuesday, Republican members of the state House maneuvered to change a minor gun bill allowing judges to carry firearms to include the provisions of the a more sweep second amendment measure.The newly-transformed bill would allow licensed gun-owners to take firearms into bars, schools and churches with some restrictions.