Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has slammed the new law expanding gun carry rights in Georgia passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill on Wednesday. The legislation will allow legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions.
The measure, due to take effect on July 1, also permits hunters to use silencers and authorizes schools to allow staff members to carry weapons on campus.
But Lee told the Houston Chronicle
that the Safe Carry Protection Act "is not the right step to take when trying to confront gun violence in America."
She said that it "clears the way for school staffers to carry guns in school zones and lets leaders of religious congregations choose whether to allow licensed gun holders inside."
Lee added, "It allows permitted gun owners to carry their weapons in government buildings – including parts of courthouses – where there is no security at the entrance."
The Georgia legislature, which passed the measure in March, opted not to allow gun owners to take weapons onto college campuses, but approved firearms in bars unless the business owner objects and posts a no-weapons sign at the door.
Churches can allow worshipers to bring guns to services under the law,
but are not required to do so. Previous Georgia law banned firearms from churches and bars.
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