After two years of bitter fighting and brutal behind-the-scene politicking, gun advocates say they are confident that this is the year they broadly expand Georgia’s right-to-carry-weapons laws, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Provisions that would allow guns in restaurants, state parks, some employee parking lots, and on public transportation will be in the mix today, the last day of the legislative session. “These could be the most expansive gun laws in the state’s history,” said Rep. Tim Bearden, a former police officer.
The renewed prospects for gun legislation came as a shock to opponents, who thought the measure was off the table for the year. Ron Wolf of the Georgia Restaurant Association said he had been assured by lawmakers that the issue of guns in restaurants was dead. Bearden he has backed off his effort to allow guns in churches and at public gatherings. The Senate on Wednesday tacked on amendments to another gun bill to allow Georgians with gun permits to bring weapons onto public transportation and into restaurants – as long as they don’t drink. Wolf, of the restaurant group, said the “concept of mixing firearms with alcohol is unnerving.”