Who is packing heat in public places? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Who is packing heat in public places?

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Michael Burke Michael Burke
Margaret Richardson Margaret Richardson

Permitted gun holders can soon freely carry their gun in more places in Georgia, after Governor Deal signed a bill expanding gun rights.  Opponents of the law say guns don't belong in certain places.  

"Things can get out of control. I know you want to protect the kids and want to feel safe, but having guns in certain places, like the church, school, airports is a bad idea," said Margaret Richardson.  

Governor Deal signed House Bill 60, expanding where licensed gun holders can bring their guns.  Nicknamed the "Guns everywhere Bill" it allows permitted holders to take guns into some bars, government buildings and certain parts of airports.  

"As far as public places, I think it a great idea. I guarantee you will find not one criminal that will tell you he will rob an armed man. And the possibility that he might be armed will deter crime," said Michael Burke.    

The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport doesn't allow guns inside their terminal. With the signing of the new bill, violators now have the option of going home if they're caught with a gun inside the airport.   

"People say, 'Well I forgot there was a gun in my bag.' That was never an excuse to try to get an gun in the checkpoint, so they were always taken downtown and arrested," said Yvette Aehle.    

Soon, airport officials will adapt to the signed bill.  "We're going to follow that law. It does make us seem uneasy because he's saying that were going to give you a pass on that," said Aehle.  

"Yeah, you would feel sort of nervous with a gun. You kind of wonder who is that person. Because you don't know who is who," said Margaret Richardson.  

It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it's OK for a licensed gun holder to bring their guns into their place of worship.  The bill goes into effect July 1st.


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