Lawmakers in Georgia are revisiting an issue near and dear to many patriots in the state, but they’re doing so on borrowed time.
The Peach State’s legislative session will end on Thursday, sending lawmakers into a frenzy of activity. One of the more controversial bills to be working its way through in the 11th hour is a campus carry law that would allow students attending college in the state to concealed-carry a firearm on school grounds. Opponents of the law are concerned that student safety would not be enhanced by the arming of some students, but lawmakers insist that the language of the bill would not allow for that to happen.
“’Frequently, invisible lines distinguish our college and university campuses from other properties — but we should never allow these overlapping boundaries to deny us our constitutional rights,’ Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said immediately after the vote. ‘This thoughtful compromise protects the fundamental right to lawfully carry, which belongs to all Georgians.’
“House Bill 280 would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses, with exceptions that include dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and buildings used for athletic events. On-campus child care centers would also be excluded, as would areas on some college campuses where high school students attend class.
“This is the fifth year in a row the Legislature has considered such a measure. Last year’s legislation got as far as Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk before he vetoed it, citing concerns that it was both too broad and that campuses have historically been gun-free to promote learning. Deal has also called for excluding campus discipline hearings and administrative and professor offices from the proposal, but lawmakers so far have not added those exclusions.”
One caveat of the legislation is that on-campus carriers would be required to carry their firearms concealed, providing not only another layer of precautions, but also not allowing for the distraction of the student population.