• College and faith leaders split on new gun law


    ATLANTA - Advocates say a loophole in a state law will give them the right to carry guns on college campuses in July.  
    Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston went to Kennesaw State University on Thursday for reaction. Gun advocates say when the school’s new football program starts in 2015, people will have the right to bring their licensed gun to the game.
    "I think it's wonderful, I’ve been fighting for this for years," said Luke Crawford, president of KSU’s students for concealed carry. 
    He and other gun advocates like Georgia Carry say  the loophole in House Bill 826 now allows licensed gun owners to carry weapons on any real property or building owned by or leased to any school or post-secondary institution.
    "I’ll no longer have to enter a place where I’m defenseless," Crawford said.
    Huddleston showed the law to other students on campus.
    "I think you have a right to carry it, if you're not causing harm to anyone else, or scaring anybody. I don't see the harm in it," said KSU senior Heather Morris.
    "I think it's kind of scary, especially with everything else that's been going on around Kennesaw, like the shooting the other day," said sophomore Amanda Scope.
    Huddleston talked to Gov. Nathan Deal's staff about the law. Their understanding of the law, which Deal signed, allows a parent to have a licensed gun in their car if they are picking up their child at school, but they cannot enter a school building with it. 
    But gun advocates say, the way the law is written now, gives them the right to carry guns in schools.
    "It’s something we've been fighting for. We've had empty holster protests, we've passed out fliers on campus to make the public aware of how campus carry is a good thing, so it's awesome to see all that hard work paying off," Crawford said.
    Crawford and other gun advocates say they will be willing to take this to court if opponents try to change the loophole in the law.

    Faith leaders split on new gun law

    Faith leaders across Georgia are deciding what to do about the state's new law that allows licensed gun owners to bring their weapons onto church property if the congregation gives theOK.
    Channel 2's Lori Geary went to Hart County where one Baptist pastor says he's already made the decision to allow worshipers to pack heat.
    Hart County is home to Liberty Baptist Church. Senior Pastor Mike Griffin told Geary he's one of the first church leaders to allow licensed gun owners to bring their weapons into his house of worship now that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the controversial bill into law.
    "There's not anything I believe that any congregation should fear from a law abiding citizen having a properly licensed firearm,” Griffin said.
    Griffin said there are more than 100 members in his congregation..
    “They support the right to carry,” Griffin said.
    He said they're just following the teachings of the Bible.
    “Self-protection and protecting innocent human life is always what God has been about.  The scripture says God is against shedding innocent blood,” Griffin said.
    Griffin also happens to be the lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Convention which is made up of more than 3,600 churches and more than 1.5 million members. 
    He said unlike the Catholic Archdiocese and Episcopal Diocese, which made the decisions to ban guns in all of their houses of worship, the Georgia Baptist Convention lets individual congregations decide.
    At a prayer service Thursday, Geary found worshippers praying their congregations say no to guns while others say it's about protection of property rights.
    “It's hard to believe that people would carry guns in churches but I don't know. I know I think they're doing the right thing,” one man said.   
    “I think it's absolutely wrong,” prayer service participant Blondie Willingham said.
    Griffin said he's getting a lot of questions from Baptist church leaders about what they should do and is coming up with a document to send out to the more than 3,600 churches.

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