Governor Deal quietly signs campus carry

In a quiet move, Governor Nathan Deal has signed House Bill 280, also known as "campus carry," into law. 

On Thursday, he said that the bill's current version addressed the concerns he had over legislation from 2016, which he vetoed. 

“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.

The governor added that students have the right, and sometimes a need, to protect themselves from unsafe areas around colleges. 

“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," he said. 

“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."

The bill would allow permitted individuals over the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm in most areas of a college campus. Exceptions to the measure include student housing (including fraternity and sorority houses) and athletic facilities. It also features a provision that would forbid guns in daycare centers and areas common to high school students.