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After an unsuccessful push last year to legalize carrying a gun on college campuses under certain conditions, two local lawmakers are leading the charge to relax gun restrictions in other areas.

State Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, said he plans to introduce a bill this week that would decriminalize the act of carrying a gun inside a bar or place of worship for someone otherwise qualified to have a firearm. The draft bill would also allow individual boards of education to set policies allowing trained and approved teachers and other employees to carry guns into schools.

Jasperse, whose district includes part of Murray County, said he understands criminals won’t abide by gun restrictions, but he wants to make sure the Legislature isn’t penalizing “good Georgians.” As the bill’s main sponsor, Jasperse said he also included provisions aimed at keeping state-issued weapons permits out of the hands of those with known mental issues.

Measures already on the books detail a process for probate judges to check applicants’ mental histories if they have been involuntarily committed to an institution within the past few years, but this bill would require that that information be updated more quickly. It would also prohibit issuing a weapons permit to someone who has mounted an insanity defense to a crime, or who has in court been adjudicated not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity.

More: Lawmakers take aim at gun restrictions » Local News »
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