Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday signed legislation significantly expanding gun rights in the state.
The bill, described by the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm as “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history,” expands the scope of public places where licensed owners are allowed to carry firearms.
The bill makes several changes to state law. It allows those with a license to carry to bring a gun into a bar without restriction and into some government buildings that don’t have certain security measures. It also allows religious leaders to decide whether it’s OK for a person with a carry license to bring a gun into their place of worship.
Democrats resisted the proposal, although they conceded it would pass in the GOP-dominated House of Representatives. They argued that allowing guns in more places will not make society safer and may lead to more deaths.
Under the bill, school districts would now be able, if they wanted, to allow some employees to carry a firearm under certain conditions. The bill also eliminates the fingerprinting requirement for renewing weapons carry licenses.