Columbus city budget affected by controversial GA gun law - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus city budget affected by controversial GA gun law

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Columbus city officials are digging into the city budget to keep certain buildings safe now that the new gun law is in affect. Columbus city officials are digging into the city budget to keep certain buildings safe now that the new gun law is in affect.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A controversial and sweeping gun law takes effect in Georgia, meaning weapons can now be carried into government buildings, churches, even bars.

The new gun law, officially known as House Bill 60, has cities across Georgia budgeting to make sure that residents are safe now that anyone with a license to carry can have their gun just about everywhere.

Guns can now be carried into bars and churches unless the establishment has chosen to opt out. If they have, a sign will posted on the door or in a window stating guns are not permitted on the premises. If a gun carrier ignores the sign, you could be cited and get a steep penalty.

City officials in Columbus aren't thrilled about the law and how it's left them digging into the city budget to make sure certain buildings are safe.

"It's a law that we don't like, that we don't appreciate and it's a law that's placed an undue financial burden on us," says Isaiah Hughley, Columbus City Manager.

Hughley says part of the money came from the contingency fund in the 2014 budget and the rest will come from the contingency fund in the 2015 budget which, takes effect on July 1, 2014.

Now that the new gun law is in effect, the front doors at the City Services Center will be closed permanently and public access will only be in the rear. X-ray screening and metal detectors have been installed to screen for those carrying weapons.

"Its $84,000 for reserve deputies, $32,660 for X-ray machines and metal detectors, and it's $3,600 roughly for the employee entrance door," says Hughley.

Hughley adds that these precautions are necessary for a building where money transactions are made, and where city council members hold meetings that can sometimes get contentious.

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