Santorum: Georgia gun law to improve safety, says 'a well-armed America is a safer America'

Fresh off a speech to the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, former - and potentially future - GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum praised a controversial new gun law in Georgia.

The bill, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal last week, will allow Georgians to carry guns into some bars, churches and government buildings.

Critics have slammed the law, calling it the "guns everywhere bill," but Santorum defended the legislation Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," arguing that if criminals aren't sure whether potential victims or bystanders are armed, they likely won't take the risk.

"I think people do analyze the situation and if they want to accomplish something, they want to kill a lot of people, they're not going to go someplace where someone will shoot back," the former Pennsylvania senator said.

The Georgia bill, which will go into effect July 1, will allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns to certain parts of airports.

"I don't think this is going to do anything to encourage some bad guy to cause harm at the airport, but it's going to create an opportunity where if something bad does happen at an airport, there'll be someone there to stop it," Santorum said.

"I think a well-armed family is a safe family," he said. "A well-armed America is a safer America."

Santorum was one of a series of Republicans considering a bid for the White House show who spoke at the NRA convention -- a three-day event in Indianapolis that drew tens of thousands of gun-rights advocates to its sprawling shooting, hunting and outdoor exhibits as well as rallies, seminars and concerts.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, another speaker at the NRA convention and potential 2016 candidate, said on "Fox News Sunday" that citizens with guns "makes our communities more safe, not less safe."

Asked about the Georgia law, Pence said he's not read the legislation, but he reiterated his pro-gun stance and his welcome to the members of the NRA in Indianapolis over the weekend.

Pence recently signed a law in the Hoosier State that would allow guns in locked vehicles in school parking lots. Like the Georgia law, it's been blasted by opponents as unsafe and unnecessary around schools.

"We actually had parents that had a permit to conceal and carry a weapon that were finding themselves guilty of a felony just by dropping their kids off at school. So we made a modest change, a common-sense change in Indiana law, and I strongly supported it," he said.

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