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October 14, 2010 by MARY WALKER
Filed under News
Having a gun in a bar may be legal in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean all patrons are happy about it.
Georgia is one of four states to pass the “guns-in-bars†law in the last six months. The other three are Arizona, Virginia and most recently Tennessee.
In June 2010, Georgia passed a law clarifying the locations where permit-holding citizens can carry their concealed weapons.
The law now explicitly allows bar owners to admit customers carrying concealed weapons.
Bars are defined by the Georgia Legislature as establishments that serve alcoholic beverages and receive less than half of their income from food sales.
Athens’ bar scene is legendary. Following the University being named No. 1 party school, Athens’ bars continue to thrive.
And this new gun law raises the concerns of some members of the University’s bar-hopping population.
“I am frightened to think that people are carrying guns around in general,†said Amelia Kirbo, a senior from Bainbridge. “And being allowed to carry one while intoxicated seems dangerous.â€
The law establishes it is illegal to fire the weapon while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug. But this is difficult to regulate.
Accidents happen. On Sept. 14, a man in Virginia accidentally shot himself in the leg while drinking a beer.
“By allowing guns, it’s like we are asking for trouble,†Kirbo said.
Prior to this bill there was a 1,000 feet school safety zone for all schools from preschool to college campuses. This safety zone no longer exists for the University.
“The law was meant for K-12,†University Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said. “The 1,000 feet law was removed for college campuses.â€
Though guns are allowed within striking distance of campus, the University continues its zero tolerance toward guns in campus buildings and property.
“The University follows the law exactly,†Williamson said. “You must be 21 years old, have a license and keep the gun in your car.â€
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