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Ga. Senate OKs bill to clear up gun restrictions

A law designed to clarify where gun owners can “carry” weapons legally has won approval in the Georgia Senate and will be up for consideration by the Georgia House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 308 allows those with a carrying permit to carrying a weapon in all parks, historic sites and recreational areas. And it gives bar owners and “places of worship” the opportunity to allow guns to be carried on their premises as well.

Under the bill Georgia’s universities and technical schools will be allowed to choose whether or not to allow guns to be carried on their campuses.

The law specifically bans the carrying of weapons in: a government building; a courthouse; a jail or prison; any school; a state mental health facility; and on the premises of a nuclear power facility.

Also weapons would be banned at any athletic facility “during an event” which the state board of regents “has adopted a regulation prohibiting the carrying of weapons,” according to the bill.

While the bill allows weapons to be “banned” from being carried in the above-mentioned places, it also allows any person with a weapon-carrying license to keep their weapon secured in their personal motor vehicle or in a locked container or locked firearms rack in a motor vehicle if the vehicle remains parked in a parking area.

Those with carrying permits may also avoid the ban by notifying security personnel or management of the weapon’s presence and following the directions of those representatives “for securing, storing or temporarily surrendering” the weapon.

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, sponsored the bill and said input was received from gun safety groups as well as representatives of law enforcement, educators and churches.

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