In a ceremony today in Atlanta, Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Firearms Freedom and Accessibility Act (FFAA), which allows the sale of handguns in automated machines that accept cash, credit and debit cards.
The machines will be installed in grocery stores, convenience stores, bars, schools, airports and gas stations. They aren’t required to verify buyers’ identity and won’t perform background checks.
“Millions of people in Georgia lack access to quality firearms,” the governor said in a signing statement. “This bill will finally bring handguns from top manufacturers into every neighborhood and hopefully every household.
“By helping more Georgians to defend themselves, we expect this bill to lower crime significantly. By the end of my second term murder, rape and armed robbery should be nearly eradicated.”
The new machines were developed by Blast-o-Matic, a local start-up based in Sandy Springs. According to the company, 50 devices have already been installed, and 300 more are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
The legislation comes just months after Georgia significantly loosened its gun laws. In April, Deal signed a so-called "guns everywhere" law which allowed registered gun owners to take their weapons nearly anywhere, including bars and government buildings.
Although handgun vending machines seem like common sense to patriotic Americans who support freedom and the constitution, some extreme leftist organizations have called the legislation “irresponsible”.
One focus of liberal ire is the bill’s allowance of the vending machines in bars. Critics say this practice could lead to drunken patrons acting irresponsibly while armed, an argument the bill’s supporters repudiate.
“I don’t buy this ‘alcohol and guns don’t mix’ propaganda,” says NRA spokesman Elmer Fudd. “Having the option to purchase handguns in bars should prevent troublemakers from starting bar fights in the first place.”
For some reason liberal groups have also opposed the unrestricted sale of handguns inside schools. The NRA, which helped to craft that provision of the bill, explicitly rejects the criticism.
“The Second Amendment says that every American has a right to own a gun. Not every American who happens to be over 18. But every single American,” Fudd explains.
“What happens if a criminal brings a gun into a school and starts shooting? Shouldn’t we allow these innocent kids to instantly purchase a firearm to defend themselves? These vending machines are no brainers.”