Governor Deal Signs Campus Carry Bill

Written by: Eric A. Hoffman, Esq.

On May 4, 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the current campus carry bill into law after previously vetoing a similar bill in 2016. The law will allow people with valid gun permits to carry concealed weapons on Georgia’s public colleges in certain areas. Governor Deal vetoed a similar bill in 2016 after Georgia lawmakers refused Deal’s request to limit the right to carry in “sensitive areas” of campuses. However, in 2017, advocates conceded to Deal’s requests leading the way to its passage. House Bill 280 prohibits guns from on-campus child care centers, faculty and administrative offices, and disciplinary hearings. The law also prohibits guns from: any building or property used for sporting events; any student housing; and certain specialized classroom space.

In signing the bill into law, Deal stated, “At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection, even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed.” However, opponents of the bill argue that campus carry does not reduce crime and may lead to an increase in suicides and shootings on campus. (https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/10/24/guns-on-college-campuses-research/) The law will go into effect on July 1, 2017.

Hall Booth Smith attorneys have experience drafting and enforcing campus policies to ensure compliance with state and federal law. For more information about the rights and responsibilities of Georgia’s colleges and individuals visiting campus, please contact Eric Hoffman at ehoffman@hallboothsmith.com.

The full text of the Bill can be found at: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/170679.pdf

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