Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill on April 12 that allows Georgia residents to carry a handgun in public without a permit or background check.
This includes residents of 32 other states who visit Georgia, including Alabama, Tennessee and Arizona.
Before this bill was signed, Georgians were required to pass a background check, pay a fee of approximately $75 and provide their fingerprints in order to obtain a Weapons Carry License (WCL).
However, public carry of rifles and shotguns did not require a WCL and carrying an unloaded gun in a case was already legal.
We at the Spectator strongly feel that the second amendment is an important part of what makes America the country that it is. However, we also believe that more regulation in regards to who is permitted to carry a handgun in public is necessary.
Convicted felons and people who had been hospitalized for mental health issues or had to undergo treatment for drugs/alcohol in previous years who applied for a license were not eligible to receive one.
Thankfully, under the new law, it is still illegal for convicted felons to carry weapons, and gun buyers will still need to pass a background check to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer in Georgia.
There is always the fear that this will lead to a rise in gun violence with the number of people who can legally carry a gun rising. It would not come as a surprise if some people were to take advantage of this new law and use it to cause harm.
Accidental deaths will likely increase, as well, considering the amount of weapons that will now be allowed anywhere.
The U.S. constitution has set up guidelines for this country, and amendments should stay in place. But lawmakers and citizens need to remember that times have changed since it was created.
The dangers of this bill need to be considered.
This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator.