Walter Jones has been busy today. That’s probably why I didn’t get to speak to him the many times I passed him at the Capitol. He’s got news on the “new” gun bill that no longer contains the uber-controversial campus carry provisions. In short, here’s a version that can pass.
Legislation that would have relaxed some gun restrictions is being rewritten without the controversial provisions allowing Georgians 21 years and older with concealed-weapons permits to exercise that right on college campuses.
Rep. Alan Powell, chairman of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, told reporters Thursday the campus-carry provision was the major sticking point in a bill that deals with multiple aspects of Georgia’s gun laws. Versions of it passed the House and Senate last year, but it ultimately stalled in the final moments of the 2013 legislative session over negotiations about the differences.
This year, legislative leaders had set the first week of the session as a deadline for the House to pass the bill. Powell said he had proposed a compromise designed to address the concerns of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, which voted unanimously at its January meeting to oppose any concealed weapons on campus.
The compromise would have allowed the presidents of each college or university to decide the matter. But a letter Tuesday from the legislative counsel that provides legal advice to the General Assembly warned such an opt-out option would be unconstitutional.
Click the link and get the rest of Walter’s reporting on the issue.