As the legislative session enters its last week, the fight over controversial gun bills continues to heat up. One would give a thumbs up to carrying a gun on church property, and another would allow carrying on college campuses.
Both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate passed gun bills. There has not been agreement on a final measure, and that will have to come in the next few days.
Clergy members braved the cold weather and stood outside of the State Capital on Monday to challenge state gun legislation. Provisions in Georgia gun bills would allow churches to decide if licensed gun owners could carry their firearms on church property. The legislation would also allow permitted owners to carry guns in most areas of college campuses.
Negotiations are to ensue this week on the measure's final form.
"We cannot have guns in churches and synagogues. We did not ask to have guns in churches and synagogues, and this is the last place on earth that people can go to get away from the violence that is so prevalent in our world," said Rabbi Peter Berg
"We testify together that God is called by many names, worshiped in many houses. But, we all agree here this morning that we do not need guns in our houses of worship," said Reverend Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Governor Nathan Deal has been watching the progress of the gun bills.
"I've always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and will continue to be so," said Deal.
But the governor has not taken a firm position on the legislation.
"It is not something that I have ultimate control over and I am just hopeful they will come out with a piece of legislation that will be reasonably agreeable to everyone," Deal said.
Supporters of these measures say that they're trying to offer protection for the law-abiding citizen. The legislation is expected to come up before the end of the session, now set for Thursday.