Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law.
House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports, said CNN.
The governor said the law "will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License. Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population. License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law. 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," he said.
While the bill says no one is allowed to carry a firearm past an airport's security screening checkpoint, it allows guns in other areas, including "an airport drive, general parking area, walkway, or shops and areas of the terminal that are outside the screening checkpoint," CNN reported.
Another provision of the new law allows firearms into any government building that is open for business and doesn't have security personnel restricting access or screening visitors.
The law also allows Georgians to carry guns into bars and churches as long as the property owner hasn't banned them. Anyone bringing a gun into a church that prohibits them won't be arrested but could pay a fine up to $100, CNN said.
Other provisions of the law allow hunters to use silencers and suppressors when the owner of the property where they're hunting is aware they're using such a device; permit gun owners who have had their licenses revoked to apply for a new license after three years; restrict access for anyone whom a court has deemed mentally incompetent or insane, or anyone involuntary committed to a mental institution; and forbid police officers who see a resident carrying a gun to ask for their permit unless they're committing a crime, CNN reported.