Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation today that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms, a proposal that has drawn heaps of praise and scorn from outside groups, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Deal prefers the focus be on the “significant positive changes” that sapped some of the more contentious parts of the bill. The bill, which passed in the final hours of this year's legislative session, allows Georgians to legally carry firearms in a wide range of new places, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings.
A new analysis said it could let felons use the state's “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened. Deal said voters shouldn't forget what got left out of the bill. Among the controversial proposals that didn't survive were the “campus carry” provision, which would have legalized the carrying of guns on campus, and changes that would have required houses of worship to allow guns unless leaders ban them. Instead, religious leaders can “opt-in” to allow guns into their congregations. Critics have dubbed it the “guns everywhere” bill for its broad scope. The National Rifle Association called “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform bill in state history.”