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Permitless carry may soon become reality in Georgia

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 10:38 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Lawmakers have edged closer to changing the law on who can carry a concealed firearm in certain public spaces.

Currently, you need a permit if you want to carry a gun outside your home, but a new law on the horizon would make anyone who is ‘eligible’ to obtain a concealed carry permit allowed to carry a gun without one.

“I guess I understand in some sense the principle behind it, but at the same time I feel like that opens up opportunities for people who aren’t great people to carry something they shouldn’t have,” said Jacob Dodson.

Across metro Atlanta, reactions from the people CBS46 spoke to echoed a cautious approach about allowing people to carry guns in public.

“I’m not completely against it, you know, I feel there’s a lot of crime out here. I’m from Arizona, and gun laws are pretty lax out there too. Let’s wait for a year, maybe think about it a little harder,” said Cedric Handy.

It currently costs $75 to obtain a gun license. This new law, if passed, would also get rid of that permit fee with many Republican politicians arguing that Constitutional rights shouldn’t cost people money.

The new law further states a person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a Weapons Carry License.

“I mean, I understand in a sense, but I really don’t think that’s the best idea,” said Michael Wilson.

Republicans argue it helps get rid of the red tape lawful Georgians must go through to get a permit, while Democrats believe it will encourage more gun use in the community.

People throughout metro Atlanta argued that Georgians aren’t the most trustworthy when it comes to gun use.

“There is [sic] some that are responsible, but there’s just so many others that aren’t responsible,” Wilson said.

Lawmakers in the Senate will have to agree to minor changes made by the House and vote on the law before Governor Brian Kemp can sign it.