The bill is HB 859, and it passed the Georgia House with a vote of 113 to 59 on Monday. The next stop is the state Senate. So, why does it have gun control proponents in a tizzy? Because it involves guns on college campuses, two things that many people believe shouldn’t mix.
According to state Representative Virgil Fludd – a Democrat from Tyrone – those aren’t the only things in the mix: “We’re putting (students) in volatile situations with alcohol and hormones.”
Even if the bill – dubbed the “Campus Safety Act” – were passed, no one under the age of 21 would legally be able to carry on campus. And no one would be able to carry in dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and sports events. Who would that leave then? Professors, administrators, and seniors. And they’d have to obtain a carry permit and carry concealed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out that recent incidents have made campus carry in Georgia a more popular idea:
Recent events close to the Georgia Capitol, however, have added to the latest push. A few blocks from the Capitol building, robberies at Georgia State University’s downtown campus library — committed within weeks of each other, with two occurring on the same day — have increased support among some students and lawmakers for campus carry.
House Democrats and other gun control proponents say they’re concerned about “kids” running around with guns – kids who would naturally resort to pulling a gun to try to resolve a conflict with a teacher.
According to one mother Cynthia Smith, HB 859 will lead to “more murders on college campuses.” A few years ago, her son had been killed at Tuskegee University when someone had fired shots into a crowd where he was standing. She said that if the bill passes into law, “Then you’re going to have more mothers burying their kids.” From WSB-TV:
“It’s going to be a lot of parents living the way I have to live the rest of my life now with part of my life gone,” Smith said.
Based on age, maturity and how young people handle altercations, she believes the bill is asking for trouble on state college campuses.
“The first thing they think of is pulling their gun,” Smith said.
Proponents of the bill say it will make it a lot more difficult for criminals to do what they do. “Criminals would no longer see college campuses as an easy place to go commit a crime,” Luke Crawford with Kennesaw State Students for Concealed Carry said.
If the bill becomes law, Georgia will be one of nine states that have laws allowing campus carry. Currently, carrying concealed weapons on Georgia colleges is prohibited.