The Georgia campus carry bill is moving forward. On February 22, the House passed HB859 113 to 59. The bill has a number of compromises. It bans guns at athletic events, which would likely pass Constitutional muster. It also retains a ban on guns in housing, including the privately owned housing of fraternity and sorority houses. On 11 March, the Senate passed HB859 37 to 17. From wsbtv.com:
Georgia's state Senate voted to approve a bill allowing licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on public college campuses.Governor Deal is likely to sign the bill. On 28 February, the Governor defended the bill. From ajc.com:
The proposal backed by the National Rifle Association won support from a Senate panel on Monday despite opposition from the powerful governing board for the university system.
Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston on Monday defended legislation to legalize firearms on college campuses, with the governor saying the existing argument against it “lacks validity.”The bill has yet to be enrolled and sent to Governor Deal. From ga.gov:
GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE/VETOIf Governor Deal signs or refrains from vetoing the bill, it would become law and go into effect on July 1, 2016.
Governor may sign bill or do nothing, and bill becomes law. Governor may veto bill, which requires two-thirds of members of each house to override.
Act and other laws enacted at the session are printed in the Georgia Laws series. Also, act is incorporated into the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Act becomes effective the following July 1, unless a different effective date is provided in act.
The ban on guns in university housing flies directly against the U.S. v Heller ruling, which found that the right to a functional handgun in the home for self defense was a fundamental part of the Second Amendment. It seems unlikely that there will be a Constitutional challenge to the ban on guns in housing in universities anytime soon. Fraternity and sorority houses have contracts with universities; usually leases that gives the power to the university to close them down. Students in university housing would fear administrative discipline. Most students do not stay in university housing for more than one or two years. The administrative code is a powerful means of chilling Second Amendment rights.
The Georgia bill is one of a series of incremental steps to restore Second Amendment rights. Texas passed a similar law in 2015, that is being incrementally implemented; Alaska has similar legislation in play. Kansas is in the process of implementing campus carry reform.
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