Possible overhaul for Georgia gun laws - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Possible overhaul for Georgia gun laws

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Georgia lawmakers could soon be looking at an overhaul on state gun laws that would make it possible to carry a licensed concealed weapon almost anywhere.  It is a controversial topic that is being discussed all over the state.

The right to bear arms that is the debate for Georgia legislators.  A proposed bill that was filed in the House would make it possible for people with concealed weapons licenses to carry their guns almost anywhere include churches, nearly all government buildings, bars and restaurants, polling places, and public schools.

 A similar bill passed in 2010 expanded where people with concealed carry license could take their weapons, but that did not include schools, colleges, and places of worship.

John McMullen, owner of Shooters of Columbus, is in favor of some changes says the laws should be clearer where weapons are involved.

"This is a very small group of people who have applied for and taken all of the proper legal steps to get a carry permit," said McMullen.

He says the laws should be clearer where weapons are involved.

"An average person, even though they are legally licensed, does not know where they can go, where their boundaries are, and a lot of the small ins and outs of the law.  It needs to be made much simpler for all of us to understand," said McMullen.

There are some places off limits according to House Bill 981 such as jail, courtrooms, and nuclear facilities.  

Some students at Columbus State University do not think it would be a good idea to allowed concealed weapons on campuses.

"The majority of what I have seen people act like on campus just starting fights and stuff just to imagine them having a gun instead of just their fists is overwhelming," said Nicole Dauenhauer, a CSU student.

"One person messes up, and you have a lot of people dying. Instead of one person having a gun, you have thirty people with guns," said Jeremy Statum, a student at the university.

Georgia law does allow for licensed guns locked in cars on university campuses now, but Jason Stubbs, the Director for Georgia Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, says the proposed bill would help students better protect themselves.

"This criminal did know that, hey, I can go onto a college campus because nobody on the campus while they are walking about would be able to defend themselves," said Stubbs.

The bill is still in preliminary stages.  It has yet to have a hearing in a committee.

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