Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a sweeping gun rights bill on Wednesday.
House Bill 60, also known as the Safe Carry Protection Act, will allow licensed gun owners to carry their firearms into public places, including bars, nightclubs, schools, churches and government buildings.
“People who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don’t follow the rules,” Deal said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefronts of our minds.”
The National Rifle Association has praised the bill as "the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent state history" and called it a “historic victory for the Second Amendment.” Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control organization started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), fought to defeat the bill, calling it "the most extreme gun bill in America."
Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting who now works with the advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety, called the bill "unprecedented."
“The Stand Your Ground expansion is truly a new type of Stand Your Ground as we know it,” Goddard said of the measure, which some critics dubbed the "guns everywhere" bill. “To expand it in such a way to remove all carrying or possession offenses is really unprecedented.”
For more on Deal's thoughts on the bill, go to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.