The case fueled online debate about a new Georgia law that greatly expanded the rights of gun owners to carry weapons in public places, such as bars. The new statute, which took effect last month, has been labeled the “Guns Everywhere” law.
An Atlanta television station, WXIA, quoted the GBI as saying Lampien has a concealed-carry permit for the gun. The Journal-Constitution was not able to comfirm the station’s report.
It is not clear from police reports whether Lampien, the owner of a commercial and industrial air conditioning company, had removed his handgun from a holster before the shot fired. Lampien received a minor hand injury and was treated at a Gainesville hospital.
“Maybe the shooting was accidental,” Omar Araim said by telephone from his home in California. “But what was the guy doing drawing a gun in the middle of a crowd?”
He said his great-aunt had lived in the United States for many years but became a citizen only recently. She took the oath of citizenship at a ceremony in Houston within the past two weeks, he said.
She and her relatives were completing a day trip to Helen when the shooting occurred, Omar Araim said. His great-aunt was returning to Houston early this week to obtain her American passport. She was planning a long trip to Iraq to visit her sons and other relatives.
“It has thrown the whole family for a loop,” Omar Araim said. “She was a good woman. God rest her soul.”