Georgia legalizes Campus Carry

Michelle Rodriguez / Asst. News Director

The National Rifle Association and Students for Concealed Carry are making a national push for state laws which would allow for the concealed carry of firearms on public college and university campuses.

Texas’ lawmakers have recently passed such a law which will go into effect soon.

Several state legislatures, including those of Florida and Georgia, are currently reviewing bills involving campus carry.

The proposed Florida law, which looks a lot like the one Texas just passed, is being championed by prominent Florida Republicans and the NRA. Predictably this bill’s proponents are touting the Second Amendment to justify the bill.

The measure has met little opposition in the Florida House.

Similarly the Georgia state House voted Monday to legalize carrying concealed guns on Georgia’s college and university campuses.

The bill would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside dormitories fraternities and sorority houses and at athletic events. It also would mandate that those weapons be concealed – something proponents say make it safer – since Georgia requires gun owners to apply for “concealed carry” permits that require fingerprinting and background checks.

Recent events close to the Georgia Capitol have helped the cause. A few blocks from the Capitol building, robberies at Georgia State University’s downtown campus library – committed within weeks of each other, with two occurring on the same day – have increased support among some students and lawmakers for the right to carry concealed weapons on campus.

With Monday’s House passage the campus-carry bill goes to the Senate for consideration.

Georgia Democratic State Rep. Virgil Fludd has equated campus-carry to “putting (students) in volatile situations with alcohol and hormones.” Fludd argues that the bill would allow the weapons with “no instruction, no training, no supervision.”

FIU’s chief of police Alexander Casas shares Rep. Fludd’s concerns.

Casas is not comfortable with how easy it is to obtain a concealed carry permit in Florida. He has expressed that he might be receptive to campus carry if the state were to require firearm training and proficiency of any concealed carry license holders.

Until then, however, Casas believes that passage of the campus carry bill in Florida would be detrimental to campus safety.

Though the Florida bill has enjoyed support in the House it is doubtful that it will become law anytime soon.  

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla has refused to have a hearing on Senate Bill 58, obstructing its progress through the Florida Senate. The Chairman is responsible for setting the Judiciary Committee’s agenda. If the Committee does not hear and vote on the bill, then it cannot move on to the Florida Senate chamber.

As it stands the Florida bill is effectively dead.  

Diaz de la Portilla is a Republican, a concealed carry permit holder, and a member of the NRA. By all accounts he is a pro-Second-Amendment politician. But Diaz de la Portilla does not buy that this law is about the right to bear arms.

“I think what we’re talking about here is campus safety, and the best way to address that issue, and whether the proposed cure is worse than the disease,” he said.

Alexis Calatayud, president of the Student Government Council at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, has made it clear how she feels about campus carry.

“It is not good for our university, not good for our university system and not good for our students,” said the senior political science major.

She also says that the bill does not enjoy support from mental health professionals, or President Mark D. Rosenberg, of FIU’s student body.
Additional Reporting by TNS Staff

2 Comments on "Georgia legalizes Campus Carry"

  1. Georgia reader | March 3, 2016 at 8:33 PM | Reply

    The headline is wrong. Georgia has not passed this law.

    The House has passed a version of a bill, it is not law. The Senate has to hold hearings, accept a version of a bill, vote, and pass it. Though GA-GOP-NRA Governor Deal may sign a bill if passed, the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, and all 29 presidents in the system are opposed.

    Not a single private college in Texas has allowed campus carry since the TX-GOP-NRA pushed that law through. Several survivors of the infamous UT Tower shooting from 50 years ago testified against it. The first student shot down, who lost her baby–but survived-testified that citizens shooting during the 90 minute attack caused confusion and delayed response. Read about Charles Whitman. And read the late FSU alumni/faculty Harry Crews’ essay Climbing the Tower.

    And be ready for an NRA promoted shoot ’em up on your campus. WIth guns in a lot of hands, expect a lot of carnage.

    ( I have a CCW and guns, and gun skills..and don’t want to be around more untrained gun toters. The Bubba militia is already too big.)

  2. As the previous commenter pointed out, this headline is wrong, so how about fixing it? Just how irresponsible is the staff of this student newspaper? (And I can only assume that the headline writer failed American Government at FIU, since he or she thinks that just because a state House of Representatives has passed a bill, it has become law.)

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