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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Georgia's totally reasonable, rational, not extreme whatsoever gun bill awaits Deal's signature

Last week, Georgia reps and senators approved a gun rights measure that's been both hailed as a "historic" Second Amendment victory and attacked as the nation's most "extreme" gun bill.

The measure passed during the final hour of Georgia's 40-day legislative session. GOP state lawmakers - we're looking you, Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell! - applauded the controversial proposal afterward on the House floor. It now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal's desk.

Finally, five days after the General Assembly adjourned, state officials posted the final version of the bill online for all to see. As expected, the proposed law would expand gun rights in bars, churches, and airports. And according to some people, it contains a few extra surprises.

Under the approved bill, so we've been notified, people caught carrying firearms without a gun permit could invoke Georgia's "Stand Your Ground" law when using deadly force. The same could be said for convicted felons, people under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and anyone who carries a gun into a place where the weapons are deemed illegal. Not only does the proposed law allow gun-strapped men and women to bring pistols into government buildings with minimal security, but it prevents security officials from asking to see people's licenses.

Among the legislation's other big changes: no more fingerprinting for license renewals, no more police checking your license, and no more zoning restrictions for gun dealerships.

In the coming weeks, Deal is expected to sign the bill. "I have not made any final determinations on any legislation," the governor told the AJC this week. "We have not done a thorough review, but I will say I was pleased with the reforms that were placed in it at the end of the session. That made it a lot more palatable."

It's also worth nothing that state Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, who's running as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, voted in support of the measure. We've included the full bill for your viewing pleasure after the jump:

Moments after the bills passage, its elated sponsors posed for a picture in the room adjacent to the Georgia House of Representatives floor.
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Moments after the bill's passage, its elated sponsors posed for a picture in the room adjacent to the Georgia House of Representatives' floor.

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