Georgia Senate Passes Bill To Allow Guns In Churches

A man wears a Glock handgun in a holster during an August 2013 hearing on rules for carrying a gun in the Minnesota State Capitol.
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The Georgia Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that will let church leaders allow guns in their churches, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Senate pared back the House version of the legislation, which would have removed the ban on firearms in churches unless their leaders decided to ban firearms on specific properties. The bill was amended so that church leaders may “opt in” if they desire to give their congregation the option to bring guns onto the church property.

The two chambers will now hash the legislation over in conference. They have until the end of the legislative session on Thursday to reach a compromise.

Under the Senate version of the bill, someone caught possessing a firearm in a church that bans guns would be charged with a misdemeanor and would have to pay a $100 fine.

The House bill also lets convicted felons claim “stand your ground” status, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which the Senate did not amend in its version. If the bill clears the final hurdle, convicted felons would be able to claim they acted in self-defense if they use deadly force.

Additionally, the House version of the bill would let people bring guns into bars, non-restricted areas of airports and some government buildings. It would also let K-12 schools allow employees to carry guns on campus.

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