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Georgia State Seal (courtesy

Yesterday the Georgia House passed a campus safety act that restores some Second Amendment rights to people who have a Georgia Weapons Carry License (WCL). In 2014, a gun law reform bill passed that seemed to allow carry on campus for people with a WCL, but the wording allowed for ambiguity of interpretation. The reform passed by the house yesterday is clear and unambiguous . . .

From HB859(pdf):

 15 “(19)(A) Any license holder when he or she is in any building or on real property
16 owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, or
17 university, or other public institution of postsecondary education; provided, however,
18 that such exception shall:
19 (i) Not apply to buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student
20 housing, including, but not limited to, fraternity and sorority houses;
21 (ii) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which a licensee is licensed to carry
22 pursuant to subsection (h) of Code Section 16-11-126 and pursuant to Code Section
23 16-11-129; and
24 (iii) Only apply to the carrying of handguns which are concealed.

The bill passed with overwhelming margins, nearly 2-1.  From

The state House voted Monday to legalize carrying concealed guns on Georgia’s college campuses.

State Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, led the charge for House Bill 859, a piece of legislation he has informally dubbed the state’s Campus Safety Act: “It’s a real world solution to a real world problem,” Jasperse said. “In today’s world, it’s a must.”

But in an hour-and-a-half debate before the 113-59 vote, House Democrats said the bill would allow the weapons with “no instruction, no training, no supervision,” said state Rep. Virgil Fludd, D-Tyrone. “We’re putting (students) in volatile situations with alcohol and hormones.”

The campus safety act was strongly supported by Georgia Carry, a group that supports Second Amendment rights in Georgia. From

Summary of HB 859

Would allow Campus Carry:

  • Except in buildings or property used for athletic sporting events & student housing including, but not limited to, fraternity & sorority houses
  • Only allows licensed carriers to carry on campus
  • Only allows concealed carry

GeorgiaCarry.Org Opinion on HB 859

  • GCO Strongly Supports this legislation

The Campus Safety Act now goes to the Georgia Senate. If it passes there, it will go to Governor Deal. Governor Nathan Deal has been a Second Amendment friendly Governor; it is likely that he would sign the legislation into law.

The reform movement that is restoring Second Amendment rights on the public property of universities and colleges is gaining ground. Texas passed a campus carry act last year; it will go into effect on 1 August of 2016 for four year colleges, and a year later for Junior colleges.

The Georgia bill largely conforms with the goals of  Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a group that was formed after the 2007 Virginal Tech Massacre. The movement has had considerable success, with reforms passing in Idaho, Wisconsin, Texas and Kansas, and with successful court challenges in Colorado. The Florida House passed a campus carry bill by a large margin this year; it appears to have been killed by Senator Portilla R-Miami, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. That’s my state for ya! Too late for me as my campus days are behind me but still good stuff for those lucky students.

    This will pass by the way. Our Senate is majority republican (real southern republicans at that) and our governor is republican and very interested in being reelected.

    • Yeah it is a move in the right direction I guess, but pretty much another useless law. You have to be 21 to carry a handgun. College students are in their senior year by then. This seems like it has less to do with the safety of students and more to do with making it leagal for visitors to continue to carry on campus. It is still illegal to carry in the dorms. So…what if you don’t have a vehicle on campus to secure your gun? My wife and I both carried on my son’s campus every time we visited, even at the football games. He is in the marching band. So if this is supposed to legalize my carry habits, it falls short.
      Here is another do nothing bill passed by the State Sennate. SB,270 is a carveout for LEOs so they can carry where the have been prevented. The rest of GA can pound sand as far as the GA Republicans are concerned. I got an email from my Senator telling me the good news. This was my reply:

      When I have the same protection of my civil rights as an off duty police officer, then I will be impressed. Equal justice under the law used to be a thing. Don’t tell me about carve outs for former, current and retired LEOs and act like that is a Conservative win.

      • Student ages are all over the board these days, especially after a decade+ of wars and all those service members with G.I. Bill money available to them.

        True, the traditional undergraduate age range is 18-22. However, the national average in that bracket is only about 60%, according to At Georgia State University, only 52% of students fall into that 18-22 range.

        At GSU, add the 21 and 22 year olds to the 48% that are age 23 and over, and you’re looking at a university of nearly 25,000 students which is majority 21 and over.

        That’s not even counting their 7,400+ graduate student body, of which virtually all are over 21.

        I’d say the benefits of campus carry extend to quite a few more people than many would think at first.

  2. Deal was the one who deviously manipulated the previous bill that allowed campus carry. He claims that he signed that bill first, and then signed another bill second that he claims reversed the changes of the first bill. Then, through his magic wand, he declared that the second bill to be in control, and convinced the code commission to not codify the actual changes. He had no authority to do this; only the courts can decide on conflicting bills (and in the case of these two bills, they did not conflict; they modified different parts of the existing code).
    Not only did he pull a fast one to prevent campus carry after he signed the bill, his machinations also prevented a bunch of zero-tolerance reform that was in the original bill.

    Deal never wanted campus carry, or church carry. He only signed bills that were politically expedient. He has also worked behind the scenes to torpedo previous bills so that they would never reach his desk and force him to make a difficult decision.

    Let’s hope that the modifications in this bill are palatable enough for the Georgia RINOs to let it pass. Being an election year, and Deal can’t run again, maybe he will help out some his fellow Republicans and give them a win.

  3. I know some of the whineys will just…whine. And guess what – some kids will be kids and adults will be adults. But the fact of the matter is that adults who hold a WCL do not engage in irresponsible behavior (to wit, getting drunk with a gun), so outside of a few frat houses here and there, alcohol is a non-issue.

    I do go to school at a Georgia college, and as such I do have a vested interest in this issue. I’ve always held that the only two places where carry ought to be prohibited are jails and prisons, and open court when in session with a bailiff present. That’s it. Your life isn’t worth any less just because you go to school, a stadium, or whatever, is it? No, of course not!


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