Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Signs Campus Carry Bill Into Law

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. (Photo: Gov.Georgia.Gov)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed HB 280, a quasi-campus carry bill, into law this week.

While many gun rights advocates will be pleased with the announcement at first blush, a closer look at all the exemptions in the bill give one pause because one ends up thinking, well if you can’t carry here or there or there, where the heck can you actually carry?

To give you an idea, here are all the places where individuals are prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm:

  • Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events;
  • Student housing, including but not limited to dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses;
  • Any preschool or childcare space;
  • Any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school;
  • Any room or space used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act”;
  • Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices; and,
  • Rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.

That’s a lot of places where one can’t carry, right?  So, where is one actually allowed to carry?  Not to class.  Not in the dorms.  Not at athletic facilities.  Not at offices.  Evidently, you’re allowed to carry in the same places you’ll eat green eggs and ham in, “Not here, not there, not anywhere!”

It should be noted that HB 280 is a compromised bill, a derivative of a more pro-gun legislation known as HB 859.  Deal vetoed HB 859 last year citing concerns over safety, noting that “colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed.”

However, with all these gun-free zones carved out in HB 280, the Republican governor signed the new legislation.

“It is altogether appropriate that weapons not be allowed in sensitive areas on college campuses, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly in expanding these excluded areas within a college campus in this year’s bill,” said Deal.

“While HB 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus,” added Deal. “Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.”

Don’t get me wrong, some progress is better than no progress. But we also need to be honest about the limitations of HB 280.  It still leaves students, faculty, and staff vulnerable to attacks from spree killers.  As it’s been said, “Gun-free zones are murder magnets.”  Spree killers prefer soft targets.  The notion that college campus safe spaces or “sensitive areas” keep out killers is assinine.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Scott in Atlanta May 12, 2017, 11:23 am

    I’m a 2nd Amendment rights fighter in Georgia, and believe me, we have a group of “Republicans” in this state who are nothing more than Democrats who put an “R” by their names when the tide turned all those years ago, but still govern in the good ol’ Democrat fashion. The criminal who had to run from Congress before the ethics committee caught up to him, Cobra Deal, is a prime example. These clowns love stomping on gun rights at every opportunity – take this euphemistically-named “campus carry” bill, for instance. What started out as a great bill got attacked by Deal’s and Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle’s (who hopes to be the next governor, God save us from that) henchmen until it was so butchered that it needed to die. But no – the politicians running for re-election needed something to wave in the air to demonstrate how much they “support the 2nd Amendment”, so they passed this monstrosity for that purpose only. A close examination of this piece of garbage bills shows that the tiny areas that one can carry on a campus are ill-defined, and ever-changing, with the carrier having no idea whether at any given moment if he’s on a permissible area or it has suddenly changed to a forbidden area. This bill will turn law-abiding citizens into weapons law violators, and the smart guy will choose to not carry at all, rather than risk violating all the fine-print clauses written into the bill and going to jail. It’s a travesty and every “Republican” (yeah, right) who put their name on this bill should be primaried in the next election cycle and run out of town.
    Folks, this shows what’s going on in Georgia. The so-called Republicans in this state stand for NOTHING. They are for bigger government, higher taxes, care nothing for the 2nd Amendment whatsoever, are not conservatives by any measure – they are out for themselves and their thirst for power. And this is why you will see my home state, a once deeply conservative and reliably red state, slowly slide to blue in the not-too-distant future. How freaking sad. There is a hard-core conservative base here that works tirelessly to prevent this from happening, but we fight the “Republicans” way more than the Demoncrats – heck, it’s hard to tell the difference.

  • Dirty Old Madman May 12, 2017, 8:28 am

    There is no progress from him signing into law this piece of garbage. Why not place a big sign at the entrance of these schools, “Be careful there is a possibility a deranged person with a gun could be on campus ignoring the law”.

  • SuperG May 8, 2017, 10:59 am

    The passage of nothing if you ask me. Adult Americans still being denied their birthright, so sheeple can feel warm and fuzzy before the butcher arrives. And since the federal government loves to ignore the mental health problem that we have, the butcher will come again.

  • Will Drider May 6, 2017, 1:31 am

    So you can Carry from your car to the library, cafeteria, book store, walk around outside buildings and back to your car. If your on campus for any other business like maybe going to Class (the primary reason to have a campus) you can’t Carry! Not a lot of progress here which means just about everybody on the campus will still be disarmed in gun free zones. The compromise neutered the Bill.

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