Georgia is the latest state to pass legislation allowing for campus carry on its public universities and colleges. Along with the Peach State, Arkansas passed similar legislation earlier this year that also permits campus carry on its public colleges and universities.
On Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) signed House Bill 280 into law. It will also go into effect on July 1, 2017.
“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection,” Deal said, “even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed.”
This is a 180 degree shift from last year when Deal vetoed similar legislation. What explains his change of heart? Likely the 2016 election and perhaps the realization that campus carry will make campuses a safer place. Here’s more on the legislation that was passed:
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.
Current law in Georgia states that anyone in possession of a gun outside their vehicle on public universities – even with concealed carry permits in tow — is subject to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. When this law goes into effect on July 1, 2017, anyone in possession of a gun in gun-free zones, they’ll only face a misdemeanor and be fined fined $25 for their first offense.
Georgia is the tenth state to permit campus carry in the U.S. Here’s more on the current status of firearms on American campuses:
Because of recent state legislation and court rulings, 10 states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses. These states are Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Not included in above list, Tennessee allows faculty members with licenses to carry weapons on campus but the law does not extend to students or the general public.
Utah remains the only state to have statute specifically naming public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry, and thus, all 10 public institutions in Utah allow concealed weapons on their property.
Glad Governor Nathan Deal came to his senses and signed this important legislation into law. Hopefully more states can witness similar legislation.