published Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

GA lawmakers debate loosening gun restrictions

By RAY HENRY

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Georgia's state lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow people to carry guns in more places, including bars, churches and government offices.

The legislation from Republican state Rep. Rick Jasperse would eliminate a blanket prohibition on taking guns into bars and houses of worship. Under the plan, bar owners and congregations could decide whether or not to allow firearms.

The bill would allow local school districts to decide whether to arm their employees. Republican supporters say the move would deter attacks on schools, though opponents have said putting guns into schools is dangerous.

If it passes, people with a state-issued license to carry a gun could take their weapons into government buildings that are not guarded by security.

A vote is expected this afternoon.

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