A bill that drew national scrutiny allows handguns in Georgia churches only if church leaders allow it, and lets hunters use silencers.
The bill received final passage by a House vote of 112-58 Thursday night and now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk. The approval came despite national efforts by opponents to defeat what they dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The final version would legalize the use of silencers for hunting and says guns remain banned in houses of worship unless church leaders allow them.
According to language added by the Senate, someone caught with a gun in a church that didn’t allow it would face a misdemeanor charged and a $100 fine.
Patch readers passionately debated whether taking a gun into a church – if authorized by the law – was a violation of many church teachings.
Here are excepts from the comment stream:
Pastor Eddie: “It amazes me man's attempt to overcome evil utilizing his own strength and resources. There is a weapon that has been afforded the church yet we refuse to use it or rely upon it - PRAYER! Violence against the church is nothing new, but we should never allow ourselves to be moved to make decisions out of fear.”
Paulding County resident and parent: “Allowing LEGAL carry just means that that crazy person might now think twice about doing it as there might be someone shooting back. Most look for 'safe havens' like schools, etc for this very reason. I am a legal carrying female, and allowing it makes perfect sense to me.”
politigal: “I probably shouldn't be surprised any longer but the extraordinary hypocrisy of so-called Christians who want to take guns into church to "defend" themselves takes my breath away. Turning the tables at the temple doesn't quite rise to the level of blowing your neighbor away.”
Al Liram: “WE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS/PARISHIONERS do not take guns into church to blow our neighbors away. We take them to protect ourselves against the thugs and criminals that you have emboldened to enter our church and start "blowing neighbors away".
sam: “bad idea ...yeah guns are fun and they can give you a sense of power and control but let's face people are people we all get mad, depressed, drunk etc and generally the more guns you throw into mix the more poeple wind up maimed, crippled or dead.”
Elena Cannata: “After reading a number of these heated comments right here, I would not want any of you carrying a concealed weapon. Some of you sound as if you would like to pull out your legally concealed weapon and shoot the people who disagree with you. I am sorry, but guns have no business in a house of God.”
David Brown (BOA): “It must grieve God's heart hearing so many of His children supporting bringing guns into His house.”
Emilia Lanier: “I've had a gun at my head. for me this is not a theoretical subject. I still don't feel the need to fear everything and everyone around me so that I would think I need to pack iron in my daily life.”