Gun Laws in Georgia: What is the Safe Carry Law?Written on July 28, 2014
The Safe Carry Protection Act, the new gun law, went into effect July 1, 2014. Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that changed where a person with a gun permit can carry a concealed weapon. Georgia law contains two areas regarding concealed weapons. The first change was at a public gathering. A public gathering is described as any sporting event, churches or church functions, political rallies, any government building and bars. Customers can now bring guns into bars if the owner specifically allows it. Under the old Georgia law, carrying a gun at any public location was a misdemeanor. The second area under current Georgia law is schools. It is against the law to carry any weapon within 1,000 feet of property owned by a public or private school. Violation of this law is a felony. This law is being reviewed in regard to employees of the school, however, if a teacher chooses to carry a weapon, special training will be required. The law Governor Deal signed included several provisions that will relax the restrictions on where a gun may be carried.
Schools: Local school boards will vote on whether or not they want to allow their teachers and other staff members to be armed on school property. Specific training will be required.
Religious Institutions: Church leaders can decide whether to allow their members to bring guns into their buildings. That includes services as well as other church functions.
Bars: Customers may bring guns into bars unless the owner asks them to leave, or posts notice of this in the establishment.
Airports: Guns may now be carried in common areas of airports. If a gun is accidentally brought to the security checkpoint, an individual may leave with the firearm without being arrested.
Government buildings: Guns may now be brought into government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints or metal detectors. An example of this would be a library.
Georgia has gotten a lot of press about this in the recent months. As with any type of change, not everyone is going to agree with it, or be aware of it. The bill also expands Georgia’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Before, a person couldn’t use that defense if a banned firearm was used in self defense. Under the new law, a Stand Your Ground defense could be presented even if a banned or illegal weapon is used.
If you are carrying your weapon (and you have a permit) into an area where you are now entitled to do so, you shouldn’t expect a problem. But if you do encounter an issue, or are even charged with a crime related to where you are carrying your gun, you will need effective legal counsel to protect you and your rights.
So what do YOU think of the new Georgia Law, the Safe Carry ACT? Is it a good idea or a bad idea?
If you need assistance with this issue, or any legal concerns, please contact the Silverbach Group, LLC at 770-635-0334.