Legislators Consider Revision of Concealed Weapon Provisions

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George Ray

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Proposed legislation could allow concealed weapons on college campuses

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Legislators in both chambers of the General Assembly are considering revisions to state law regarding concealed weapons that would lift restrictions on where such weapons could be carried.  Two similar bills, one in each chamber, are each being reviewed in committee and could lift “school safety zone” restrictions against the carry of weapons on college campuses.  

House Bill 615, authored by Representative Tim Bearden (R-Villa Rica), currently rests in a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, chaired by Representative Rich Golick (R-Smyrna).  HB615 calls for nearly all restrictions on where a weapon may be carried to be lifted with exception given only to portions of buildings that house courtrooms, jails, and prisons.  The bill was introduced during the 2009 term of this session, however, no action was taken on it during that term.  

Senate Bill 308, authored by Senator Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg), currently rests in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Preston Smith (R-Rome).  SB308, introduced this January, provides for more restrictions on where weapons can be carried but still lifts most bans.  According to the bill, it would remain illegal to carry a weapon in a government building, courtroom, jail or prison, elementary or secondary school, and postsecondary campus dorm or residential housing.  

Both bills continue to require that individuals be 21 or older to be eligible for a concealed weapon permit and shift the role of licensing from local probate judges to the Secretary of State’s office.

As the law currently stands, individuals are restricted from carrying weapons into “school safety zones,” which include the campuses of any institution of postsecondary education, including vocational schools, colleges, and universities, and a 1,000 foot radius of any such campuses.  SB308 deletes this provision while HB615 simply overrides it.

In a unified statement, the presidents of all 35 University System of Georgia institutions have expressed opposition to both bills and called for the law to remain intact.  The entire statement can be found as a PDF to the right of this story.

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GCR (Office of Government and Community Relations)

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Georgia General Assembly, Georgia Tech Office of Government and Community Relations
Status
  • Created By: George Ray
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 8, 2010 - 8:14am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:04pm