Written by Asli Shebe
Keys? Check. ID? Check. Phone? Check. Books? Check. Gun? Check.
Starting July 1, 2017 students at public universities and colleges in Georgia may be carrying more than just everyday school supplies in their backpacks.
On Thursday May 14, 2017 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, signed a measure that will allow college students and others to carry and posses handguns on college campuses.
After Arkansas, Georgia is the second state this year to pass a campus carry law. However, Gov. Deal did veto a similar legislation that was proposed last year.
“From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed,” he stated in his issued veto statements posted on his office website last year in May 2016.
“To depart from such time-honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists. Therefore, I VETO HB 859,” his statement concluded.
Although the upcoming changes will allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed firearms in order to protect themselves, there are many exceptions as to where and when students and others can carry such firearms.
These exceptions, as outlined in the amended House Bill 280:
— Buildings or properties used for athletic sporting events or students housing (i.e. fraternity and sorority houses).
— Any preschool or childcare space located within such buildings or real property.
— Any room or space being used for classes related to a college career academy or other specialized school.
— Any room or space being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program.
— Faculty, staff or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings conducted.
Despite this bill that is set to come into term July 1, the nature of campus safety at SCAD is not going to change.
“The Campus Carry law only applies to public universities,” said John Buckovich, Vice President for SCAD Safety.
“SCAD is a private university so the new law does not apply. SCAD students, staff, faculty, and visitors are prohibited from bringing a firearm on SCAD property. This includes all administrative and academic buildings, residence halls and parking lots.”
For more information on the details of the HB 280 bill visit the Georgia General Assembly website.