Arizona shooting spurs Georgia lawmaker to introduce ‘church carry’ gun rights bill

In the wake of the Arizona “Congress on Your Corner” shooting spree, Americans began to talk again about the nation’s gun laws. In Arizona Jared Loughner, a mentally unstable man with a record of disturbing public behavior and drug use, opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun he bought in a strip mall. He killed six people and injured at least a dozen others. Some of us talked about the need to keep crazy people from buying guns. Others of us talked about how we should be able to take our guns everywhere– like into the nation’s capitol— to protect ourselves from the crazies. In Georgia today, a gun rights group is celebrating the introduction of a bill that would lift a state law banning weapons in houses of worship. Unarmed worshipers, they say, are ripe for attack. They call the bill “church carry” but there are an estimated 100,000 Muslims living in Atlanta who will refer to the bill as “mosque carry,” which may not be looked upon as favorably by the bill’s sponsor.

Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin introduced “church carry” House Bill 54 Monday. According to the legislature home page, Franklin is a graduate of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, where he earned degrees in Bible Studies and Business Administration. He notes that he’s “an active member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church” and that “he has been called the ‘conscience of the Republican Caucus’ because he believes that civil government should return to its biblically and constitutionally defined role.”

A release celebrating Franklin’s bill from Georgia Gun Owners:

Church Carry Bill Introduced in Georgia

Georgia Gun Owners Calls on Speaker Ralston, Governor Deal to Pledge Public Support

Kennesaw, GA – Today, Georgia Gun Owners, a non-profit, grassroots gun rights organization announced support for H.B. 54, a bill to remove the State of Georgia’s ban on carrying a firearm in places of worship throughout Georgia.

“Over the past decade, at least 20 instances have been documented thoughout the country where a crazed thug enters a place of worship and shot, or attempted to shoot, the place up,” said Patrick Parsons, Executive Director, Georgia Gun Owners.

Once Church Carry is passed in Georgia, individuals will be able to defend themsleves and their families against those that would do them harm while they are simply trying to worship peacefully.

“Georgia Gun Owners calls on Speaker of the House David Ralston, Governor Nathan Deal, and every elected legislator to pledge public support for H.B. 54.”

“The only way to know where our elected officials stand on this issue is to have a clean, public, up or down vote in the legislature.”

H.B. 54 simply removes Georgia’s ban on carrying in places of worship.

“We are literally one Jared Loughner away from a major massacre here in Georgia in one of our places of worship. Right now, you are in violation of the law, and a criminal, if you carry in your place of worship. Once H.B. 54 is passed, people like Jared Loughner will know that there is at least the potential for someone in a place of worship that would put him down before he could do any damage,” said Mr. Parsons.

According to its website, Georgia Gun Owners is the “ONLY no-compromise, no-sell out grassroots gun organization in the State of Georgia.” Members “do not believe in, for example, trading one right in exchange for two other rights just to achieve some sort of partial liberty. We believe in 100% firearms liberty for individuals in the state of Georgia.”

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