Sunday, May 07, 2017

GA: Governor Deal Signs Campus Carry 4 May, 2017

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia Campus Carry legislation, HB 280, on Thursday this week, May 4th, 2017. May 4th was the last day that Governor Deal had to sign or veto the bill. The NRA Annual Meeting was in Atlanta this year. Perhaps the stellar performance of NRA Meeting attendees helped Governor Deal in his decision. Crime tends to drop when 80,000 NRA members show up in town. The meeting was widely publicized.

 From the office of Governor Deal at
Gov. Nathan Deal today signed HB 280, which permits weapons carry license holders to carry firearms in specific and limited areas on college campuses.

This legislation addressed major concerns voiced by the governor last year regarding HB 859, which permitted a weapons carry license holder to carry a concealed weapon into certain areas of a college campus that had previously been prohibited. HB 859 failed, however, to address Deal’s concerns regarding the prohibition of firearms in “sensitive places,” including campus preschools, disciplinary hearings, or faculty and administrative offices. As a result, the legislation was vetoed.

This year, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed HB 280, which maintains the same restrictions present in HB 859. It also addresses the areas of campus over which Deal previously raised concerns, along with additional areas of college campuses where weapons would not be permitted.

“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. Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.

“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. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.

“As this legislation is more narrowly tailored as to exclude areas on a college campus, I’ve signed HB 280.”

The signing statement is available under "Related Files" below.

HB 280 prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone, including weapons carry license holders, on the following areas of a college campus:
  • 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.
 There is controversy over whether the interpretation by the Governor that "Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices" are prohibited places for a concealed carry permit holder to carry.

In the actual bill, the prohibition states, from HB280 as passed:
(v) Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted;
 The lack of a comma between "administrative offices" and "or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted;" indicates that administrative offices that are not used to conduct disciplinary proceedings are not prohibited places. It is hard to know if the lack of a comma will have any practical effect. Very few concealed carry holders are likely to be arrested for carrying in an administrative office that is not a place where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.

There are some positive things for permit holders in the bill.

The punishment for a first offense is a fine of $25, with no term of confinement. Second or later offenses would be misdemeanors.  Permit holders are required to keep the handgun concealed, but the definition of concealed is not extreme.  From the bill:
(i) 'Concealed' means carried in such a fashion that does not actively solicit the attention of others and is not prominently, openly, and intentionally displayed except for purposes of defense of self or others. Such term shall include, but not be limited to, carrying on one's person while such handgun is substantially, but not necessarily completely, covered by an article of clothing which is worn by such person, carrying within a bag of a nondescript nature which is being carried about by such person, or carrying in any other fashion as to not be clearly discernible by the passive observation of others.
 Georgia has entered the ranks of a Campus Carry state. The bill goes into effect on 1 July, 2017.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


ExpatNJ said...

Worse than useless!

I understand how some might view this as an incremental step towards complete recognition and actualization of the 2A.

But, if students can't have their firearm in their housing, classrooms, sports arenas, etc, they are defenseless between those locations and the parking lot (or wherever else they go)!

Just HOW is a CCW student supposed to know that High School students are present?

And WHERE are these newly 'protected' students supposed to store their firearms? Will schools establish lockers, or maybe storage checkpoints (like at the NRA Atlanta convention? Just wait for the thievery to begin at those places!

Much ado about nothing, if you ask me. "Governor DEAL": Good name for him!

Anonymous said...

Never take the time to think out a useless law it may force you to discard it. If you live in a dorm on campus and you are permitted to carry where do you keep your weapon when not carrying if you are not allowed to keep it in your dorm? How many campus building are color coded?

Anonymous said...

Is his first name Raw.

Dean Weingarten said...

Most classrooms are not affected.

Most CCW students do not live on Campus.

Most CCW holders who go on campus are not students.

People with permits who go on campus are no longer required to leave their firearms in their cars.

Seems like several incremental increases in freedom.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I'm getting tired of these so called incremental increases in a guaranteed right. either the second amendment exists as it was written in 1791 and has never been changed or it does not. the ninth amendment and the tenth amendment have never been changed so wake up and accept the facts. All of these state gun control laws and federal acts are unconstitutional. Shall not be infringed still means shall not be infringed. the second amendment is national reciprocity. the ninth amendment is our right to freedom of choice, how, when, what and where we carry. The tenth amendment is the separation of powers. the states have never had the authority to rewrite the second amendment. therefore all laws and acts are repugnant to the constitution by what is written in these three guaranteed rights. More than two centuries of Supreme court ruling back up this point of view. the fourth amendment , the fourteenth amendment, its all there read them. No one has to beg or pay for the right to keep and bear arms. states are required to uphold the federal constitution above their own. Our rights can not be denied by any one any where for any reason. If the Bill of rights is not a guarantee then what is it? Marbury v Madison 1803 USSC " A law repugnant to the constitution is VOID" that includes all state and federal laws and acts.

Anonymous said...

Dean the problem with your analysis is the law was supposed to be for students to carry. If the campus has no dorms, fine. but if you are a student and do live on campus in a dorm then you are being discriminated against because of where you live. that is a 1964 civil rights violation. One state tries to say you have a right to carry but only in your home. Is a dorm your home? all qualifiers are infringements. these stupid laws are simply political in nature and lack any validity for common sense.