A new state law expected to make it harder for local governments to limit public venues where guns can be carried might make things easier for those with carry permits.
Georgia House Bill 60 becomes law July 1. It requires governments to enact security measures before banning weapons in public buildings, but critics say it doesn’t spell out how that can be accomplished.
Guns can be carried into Rome City Hall, and Rome Mayor Jamie Doss said the city doesn’t plan to make any changes at this point.
“It’s a new law, and I think it’s important for the public to not overreact,” Doss said. “This is a law that we really don’t, at this point, know what to make of until we see what happens. If people are uncomfortable or in fear, then we need to address it.”
The Floyd County Administration Building, at 12 E. Fourth Ave., has a posted notice on its doors banning several items, including guns and knives.
County Police Chief Bill Shiflett said under the new law local governments can restrict licensed gun owners from carrying their weapons inside certain buildings, but only if security is present.
Without that security, the new law allows firearms in those government buildings. The law, however, is ambiguous, Shiflett said. It appears a security checkpoint is required if a local government wants to restrict firearms. “It doesn’t say what you have to have or what steps you have to take,” the chief added. “You have to have security there, but what kind of security?”
County Attorney Tommy Manning was unable to say exactly how far the law extends into county-owned buildings and structures, such as The Forum, State Mutual Stadium and recreation centers. “I really have to look further into that,” he said. “We just don’t know at this time.”