The Georgia campus carry bill has caused some concern in Governor Deal's office. It is not clear what, if anything, Governor Deal means to do. However, he issued a troubling statement on Tuesday, 15 March, about a day after he recieved the campus carry bill, HB859.
The bill passed the House 113 to 59, and the Senate 37 to 17. A two thirds vote is needed for a veto override. There are sufficient votes in the Senate to override, but the House would be problematical. Governor Deal did not say that he intended to veto the campus carry bill. Instead, his office released the following statement. From gov.georgia.gov:
The governor’s office released the following statement in response to “campus carry” legislation passed by the General Assembly:
“As a lifetime defender and staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights, Gov. Deal has signed every pro-gun bill to reach his desk. However, he believes legitimate points have been made in regards to certain aspects of the ‘campus carry’ bill and he calls on the General Assembly to address these concerns in related legislation before Sine Die. Specifically, these areas of concern include dually enrolled k-12 students who leave school to attend classes at a university or technical college campus, as well as daycare centers on these same campuses. Deal also believes the governing boards of universities and technical colleges should have the discretion to set reasonable rules regarding disciplinary hearings and faculty and administrative offices. Addressing these issues is an important step in ensuring the safety and freedoms of students, faculty and staff in our institutions of higher learning throughout our state.”The above must be the latest meme floating about the strategy sessions of university power councils, as a way to derail the exercise of Second Amendment rights on campus. The wording is very similar to arguments that were brought before the Alaskan Senate when considering their campus carry bill. In order to consider if prohibiting students who have a Georgia carry permit should be allowed in faculty and staff officies. It means that the school administration could prevent a staff member from exercising her Second Amendment rights in her own office. You could also ask if campus administrators would insists that police officers be disarmed before coming into their offices. Carry permit holders have shown themselve to be far more law abiding than police officers. If the Assembly chooses to grant the faculty and staff of institutions of higher learning in Georgia some leeway to deal with these issues, they should do so warily. The administrations of these institutions have proved to be extremely antithetical to the exercise of the Second Amendment in the past.
HB859 was delivered to Governor Deal on the 14th of March, 2016. "Sin die" is the last day in the legislative session, the date that the session is adjourned. The date of "sin die" in Georgia is March 24th in 2016. This is important, because Governor Deal has six days to sign legislation, or allow it to pass into law, if the legislature is in session. If the legislature adjourns "sin die" before the six days have elapsed, then the Governor can veto the legislation anytime in the next 40 days. That is what happened in West Virginia with Constitutional Carry last year in 2015. The legislature adjourned "sin die" and the West Virginia Governor Tomblin vetoed the bill, which was passed this year (2016) over Governor Tomblin's veto.
Six days from 14 March is 20 March. If Governor Deal does not sign or veto HB859, it will become law on 20 March, and will go into effect on 1 July, 2016.
If Governor Deal vetos the bill, which seems unlikely, the legislature will have four days to attempt to override his veto.
Update: This article depended on reports that Governor Deal had officially received Bill 859. It seemed to be correct; the Governor's office released the press release shown above. But the legislative site does not show the bill as having been enrolled and sent to Governor Deal. If it has not been officially enrolled, Governor Deal will have 40 days after sin die to veto the bill.
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