One of the bills that didn’t pass during the final moments of the 2013 legislative session dealt with the right to carry guns in public places. The major sticking point dealt with the ability of students to carry on college campuses, an idea strongly opposed by the State Board of Regents. According to a story in the AJC (unfortunately behind the paywall), the issue might be getting closer to resolution.
Final details are expected to be hammered out over the first few weeks of this year’s legislative session, which starts Monday. Broad points were agreed to last year, although proponents must still bridge a rift over whether to allow students to carry concealed weapons on the more than 50 campuses of the state’s university and technical college systems — a prospect staunchly opposed by the state’s powerful Board of Regents and other higher education leaders.
“It will come a little sooner than later,” state Sen. Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville, said of an expected agreement this year. “I’d like to get a good bill passed for our citizens.
Legislators thought they had a deal to pass Senate Bill 101, which as modified in conference would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to carry on campus. People between 21 and 25 years of age would have to pass a gun safety course in order to carry. A last-minute disagreement over whether everyone, regardless of age, should have to take the safety course doomed the bill last year.
The Board of Regents still opposes campus carry. However, the Second Amendment is a popular issue with Georgia Primary Election voters. The AJC article hints at a possible compromise, where private colleges and universities could offer students the right to carry, but public institutions could not.