U.S. Law Shield thinks Georgia’s vastly expanded carry laws are working exactly the way they should, even though two major religious denominations announced this week they will restrict firearms from their sanctuaries, schools, and other institutions.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory wrote in an April 30 column in the Georgia Bulletin that he will “officially restrict” the presence of weapons in Georgia’s Catholic churches and religious institutions. Gregory’s comments follow a directive issued Monday by Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta that also banned firearms from Episcopal churches in middle and north Georgia.
The new law continues to prohibit weapons in houses of worship “unless the governing body or authority of the place of worship permits the carrying of weapons or long guns by license holders.”
However, the law also diminishes the penalty for carrying weapons in a house of worship to a $100 fine with no arrest permitted for a licensed gun holder. A person carrying a weapon without a license can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Gov. Deal signed House Bill 60 (previously House Bill 875) into law April 23. It goes into effect July 1, 2014.
Our reading of the new Georgia law expressly gives these august religious bodies the right to exclude legitimate self-defense arms from their premises.
Still, this is a vast improvement. Previously, Georgia houses of worship were a place where licensed holders were not permitted to carry guns.
Do you carry in church? Let us hear your pros and cons below.