Franklin quietly signed the ordinance Friday. It was delivered to the city clerk Monday.
The new law is aimed at making tourist attractions, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, more welcoming for tourists. Opponents included activists for the poor and civil rights groups, who complained the ordinance is a mean-spirited attempt to hide homeless people.
City council deliberations this summer inspired noisy protests, and Franklin signed the proposal into law without making a public appearance.
Atlanta Police Lt. Trudy Bruce said the department has a specially trained team of five officers ready to work with beggars downtown. Under the ordinance, panhandlers would get a warning on the first offense and referred to social services on the second offense. Downtown panhandlers could get a short jail term if they get three citations in one year.
The ordinance also outlines tougher rules for panhandlers citywide, making it a crime to ask for money at night or near train stations or ATMs