The campus carry law brings questions, challenges

Nationwide, students are protesting campaigns to open college campuses to firearms. (AJC file)

The new state law allowing students over 21 to carry concealed weapons in most areas of Georgia’s public campuses contains challenges for Georgia’s universities. Colleges must resolve these issues by July 1 when the campus carry law goes into effect.

First, where do students store their Glock or Beretta in light of the law’s ban on firearms in fraternity and sorority houses and dorms?

The law makes no mention of storage, not does it appropriate any funding for gun lockers. The logical choice for students living on campus is to leave guns in their car or a friend’s car, which could spur more break-ins, undercutting the purported safety benefit of campus carry.

Even more perplexing: How do colleges fulfill the law’s provision prohibiting firearms in classes attended by dual enrolled high school students? The law outlaws guns in “any room or space being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to classes related to the Move on When Ready Act.”

That exemption prevailed because the General Assembly has pushed Georgia high school students to enroll in college courses. Lawmakers understood parents would not want precocious 17-year-olds sitting next to an armed classmate in college physics class. (Somehow, however, lawmakers discounted those worries when voiced by parents of 18-year-old college freshmen.)

While the bill appears to speak only to spaces where high school students take class, parents are just as likely to fret over their younger teen sitting next to gun-toting college students in the library, coffee shop or cafeteria.

The campus carry law affects only public campuses, but the fallout extends to private ones as well. Clark Atlanta University responded to the new law with a quick statement, “Simply put, the use and possession of weapons is neither permissible nor tolerated at Clark Atlanta University.”

The president of LaGrange College says his private campus is often assumed to be a public school, so he plans several steps to make clear guns are not permitted. “We have so many visitors on campus who are unaware so this puts a fair burden on private campuses,” said President Dan McAlexander. Along with designing signs, LaGrange plans to reinforce its no-gun rule at freshmen orientation and with returning students.

“I just have a great deal of sympathy for my colleagues who are presidents in the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System as they have a huge challenge on their hands,” he said. “The LaGrange College Board of Trustees and administration has long believed and continues to believe, along with the vast majority of other college boards and administrations in the state and country, that its faculty, staff and students are safest and best able to pursue freely their highest educational goals in an environment that is free of the presence of lethal weapons.”

Proponents contend the campus carry requirement to be 21 eliminates much of immaturity fears, but the LaGrange president disagrees.

“I would invite anyone onto our campus or any campus at the close of any semester and witness the behavior or 21-year-olds. They are still late adolescents or early adulthood,” said President McAlexander. “It is not just distrust of student capacities. I wouldn’t want a faculty member carrying a gun. College is about creating the safety to deal with controversy, passion and heated arguments without the presence of something could change the entire tenor of that.”

Reader Comments 0

43 comments
RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Maureen-


Your passivist side lost. Get over it. Move on.


The anti-gun supporters' arguments were often irrational and hysterical, and in the end were not convincing. So, as usual, the left has resorted to insulting those who disagree with them and calling them names. A proven effective way to sway opinion!!


Stop beating this dead horse and move on.

Tuckerite
Tuckerite

Given the millions of acres of Georgia where concealed carry has been allowed for years, you would think from the NRA argument a high percentage of Georgia gun violence would be on Georgia campuses, the State Capitol Building, and other places where it has not been allowed.

MarilynRCruz
MarilynRCruz

 ust as Lori implied I'm in shock that a stay at home mom can earn $8303 in one month on the 

internet . check this link right here now

<❥❥❥❥www.cashneways.com .

ajcgingerharris
ajcgingerharris

This is why Georgia gets the 'dumbest State in the Union' award, every day, every time.  We also have a woman running for Congress who makes comments like, "Let's kick a little 'Ossoff' (sic.)"  Pathetic. The woman is a pig and that's insulting to pigs.   I moved here 2.5 years ago and I cannot stand it.  The racism, the ignorance, the dysfunction, the addiction, the prurience is beyond belief.  Frankly, I hate it here.  

ajcgingerharris
ajcgingerharris

This is why Georgia has the dumbest people on the planet. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

Universities did not want this. Law enforcement did not want this. The majority of Georgians did not want this. Just more redneck bull**** getting shoved down everyone else's throats.

BIG GOVERNMENT at its finest.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

@dawg fan Dawg, if you had attended college you would know that the colleges, especially the faculties, are predominately leftists and think that outlawing guns will remove guns, which is silly.


Of course they are opposed to this.


Again, for the sake of actual UGA alumni (you know, the rednecks), please change your wannabe screen name.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Hard to believe there are still human beings left who believe that class room education and University environment can exist with the participants carrying lethal weapons.  And these are the same hypocrites yelling and screaming about Christianity, the Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, abortion, border blockades, 'The Others'?  Time for Georgia to move forcefully into the 21st century.

Wregl44
Wregl44

This will all get settled the first time there is a gun/campus problem solved by a student led shoot out.The dead body count of innocents will stagger the imagination and all will realize that possessing a gun doesn't mean you can, have the skill to or even have the emotional makeup to participate, direct or survive a gun battle. Friendly fire is what they call it in war, we'll have to coin a new phrase to cover all those wounded and killed by their classmates.

Eric Jackson
Eric Jackson

Dang it. Anyone feel like copy and pasting the article? Can't get it opened.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

All of you aged pro-campus carry posters don't seem to have a clue about the reality of University classrooms, disturbed late adolescent students, and the perceptions of faculty up there in front of the classroom. We faculty are afraid that we will be the ones to be shot. We are the ones handing back the failing grades on exams and papers, leading controversial class discussions, and meeting one-on-one with angry students in our offices. I'm retired now, but have had some semi-crazy students in their early 20s. I always spoke my mind to all my students, but I'm glad now it never occurred to me that they might be packing heat.

Astropig
Astropig

@OriginalProf


Hysteria.Pure hysteria.You're in a lot more danger driving to class and walking around town than you are in a classroom of legal,licensed gun owners.


Carry Permit holders undergo vetting by law enforcement and the judiciary. Criminals don't bother.


Stop being irrational.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Nothing to keep you from protecting yourself from those vicious snowflakes.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Know the DATA.  Registered gun owners are statistically, significantly more likely to commit murder, twice as likely to be murdered and 3 times as likely to commit suicide (Univ Penn LDI Issue Brief 2003;8(8), 1-4; Ann Int Med, Jan, 2014).Those who are shot and survive are 21 times more likely to be shot again and 5 times more likely to die than those wounded by some weapon other than a gun or injured in an accident (Ann Int Med, April, 2015).States with high gun ownership (Montana, Arkansas, Alabama and Idaho) kill law enforcement officers 3 times more often than states with low gun ownership (Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey) (American Journal of Public Health, 2015).

LookCloser
LookCloser

@Ralph-43 so....if you don't want to defend yourself then don't.  Wimp.  The enormous amount of stupidity it requires to think that being unarmed and not prepared to defend yourself, your family or friends is somehow noble is mind boggling.

There is no less honorable man than a man who refuses to do the hard work, aka defend his own life and others who may come in danger.  You wimps want to quote statistics all day long, well go ahead.  Just don't cry about it when you get accosted or your wife/daughter/mom/sister are raped or killed and you might have been able to prevent it.  Throw your stats at the perp, that'll do a lot of good.

Wrecker
Wrecker

@Ralph-43 @LookCloser Not really.  It is the gun-wielding criminals, who disdain any laws concerning weapons, who commit the vast majority of criminal acts with guns.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Wrecker @Ralph-43 @LookCloser Where do they get their guns?  Read.  Investigate.  Educate yourself.  Stop providing guns to the criminals.  Five year olds have figured this out.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@BurroughstonBroch Georgia lost on this one and the gun nuts and gun manufacturers won a bit.  Is a profit for these obese red necks worth one student's life or somebodies daughter's rape?  Not in my book but these uneducated non-college material failures are loving it.  They don't care about the data and they are holding are country back - still trying to get a job at that closed mill down the road.

LookCloser
LookCloser

@Ralph-43 @BurroughstonBroch Everyone can read Ralph-43's comments and totally tell that he/she/it is a highly educated intellectual.  LOL

"They Are Holding ARE Country Back"  LOL LOL

Astropig
Astropig

@BurroughstonBroch


Spot on.This is now the law, from Wildwood to Tybee Island. Given Georgia's makeup,it's never going to change.Beating this dead horse might be cathartic,but it's ultimately futile.


It would be far better for the left and the media (but I repeat myself)to get behind gun safety training and public education about the proper carriage and stowage of firearms among the college age population.If they're that concerned about safety,they should be front and center on making sure that their hysterical fears never come true.We'll see,however, that that is the last thing that they will ever do.The whole safety/training paradigm will be ceded to the NRA and Concealed Carry organizations,which will (properly,IMHO) bring more legal gun owners into the family of law abiding citizens that are willing to protect themselves within the law.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

When I was a new reporter, I had to go to the police station to check police reports – that was long before online records and I would sit there and sift through while talking to the dispatcher and the officers. I was always surprised at the number of accidental shootings, people shooting themselves, their pets, their friends, their cars, their neighbor’s house. There were two common denominators: The shooters were young men and they were drinking at the time.

When I questioned why these guys would have their guns out while they were imbibing, the dispatcher told me something that still stands: “When people have guns, they want to use them and most times for stupid reasons.”

The folks who put their lives on the line every day --- police officers – oppose campus carry. The campus police departments oppose it. Why are the views of those in the trenches and most affected by this law ignored?

Here is a link to a strong statement about campus carry from the Valdosta police chief.

http://gpbnews.org/post/valdosta-police-chief-campus-carry-ignores-data

LookCloser
LookCloser

@MaureenDowney How about drinking and driving, put the numbers out on that.  Do we ban the drunks or the cars or the alcohol.  

Guns are like fire, they can cook your food or burn you, it's dependant on the owner.   People in general are idiots, but we don't ban cars, alcohol or youth. 


Astropig
Astropig

@LookCloser @MaureenDowney


Alcohol poisoning on campus is a preventable cause of death.Why doesn't Maureen look into that? Does she condone binge drinking?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@LookCloser @MaureenDowney Maybe you did not know that public intoxication and drunk driving are already against the law.  Are there violators?  Appears, that there is but at least the problem is being addressed.  Address guns - prior behavior predicts the likelihood of

committing gun violence.Federal law prohibits felons and those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possession of a firearm, but it allows those convicted of assault and battery, brandishing a weapon, and those making open threats of violence. That must be corrected.Federal law prohibits purchase by an abuser of controlled substances but allows alcohol abusers to purchase guns.That must be corrected.

College Kid
College Kid

Good ole Maureen Downey back with more handwringing anti-gun nonsense. Could you please do our state a favor and stop pushing this narrative that somehow college students are too fragile to act as rational adults in this world? I wonder what your stance would be should the draft be reinstated? Are our young men wise enough to march through Syria, M16 in hand, but too fragile once dropped in ENG 1201? There's no reason to curtail the rights of a 21 year old citizen just because they step foot on a college campus, your concerns are baseless and reek of projection of your own insecurities.

Kamau Mason
Kamau Mason

The elephant in the room is the concept of training. Very few people on the planet can take a shot at an active shooter in a room full of civilians and actually hit the assailiant without hitting innocent victims. Additionally, in an active shooter scenario, the police have no way of knowing who the active shooter is, or who the Good Samaritan is. Finally, educators don't receive staff development on taking the hostage shot. Not well thought out.

Astropig
Astropig

@Lee_CPA2


It is a huge injustice.People on the fringe left wonder why advocates for individual liberties fight so hard to maintain them-This is Exhibit A.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Much ado about nothing.  Simply more anti-gun hysterics by the AJC. The burden of compliance with the law resides with the permit holder.  


Gun Storage.  Not the responsibility of the school nor would they want the liability.


Classes with Dual Enrollment Students.  A simple announcement at the beginning of the semester that the class contains dual enrollment students would suffice.


Teens sitting next to CCP holders in the cafeteria, library, and other common areas.  You do realize your teens walk among armed citizens every day, don't you?  This is no different.  I do enjoy the irony of  "parents do not want precocious 17 year olds sitting next to an armed classmate in Physics class", but think nothing of a sixteen year old behind the wheel of a 3000 pound chunk of metal hurling down the interstate at 70 mph.

Astropig
Astropig

@Lee_CPA2


Agree completely. Nothing's really going to change.Criminals will still ignore laws and law abiding citizens will still obey them.This measure simply affirms an enumerated right that these gun owners already had.More states than ever have campus carry laws and this law simply moves Georgia into the modern era.It's a (belated) response to liberals tolerance and encouragement of crime and criminals.It's long overdue.


Note to criminals: Your job will be made much easier after July 1,2017.Go to the private universities where the students are unarmed and helpless.Your odds of meeting someone that will fight back are non-existent at Clark,LaGrange, Spelman,whatever.At Georgia Tech,UGA GaState...You never know. Roll the dice.Is your brief,sorry life worth an Iphone? We'll soon see.won't we?

redweather
redweather

This is what happens when legislators are more interested in theater than practicalities.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

This is what happens when legislators are more concerned about the safety of students than enabling thugs.

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

When asked whether concealed-carry permit holders are indeed civic paragons who never break the law, GBI spokesman John Bankhead responded with the equivalent of a shrug: "Nobody knows," he said. "The state of Georgia doesn't track it. I don't know of any way to prove they are law-abiding or disprove it, because there's no record to say one way or the other." "A blind person can get a permit in Georgia, since all you have to do is pass a background check, " says Bankhead. "And that person can be arrested the very next week for a felony, convicted of that felony the next month and still have that permit for the next five years." Before the GOP leadership expands the places in civilized society where guns can be carried secretly, lawmakers ought to find out whether sufficient safeguards are in place to protect the public. The state should be monitoring whether permit holders abide by the law and whether their permits are revoked when they don't. One relatively easy way to answer that question would be to compare a list of convicted felons against a list of Georgians licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Unfortunately, the General Assembly made that impossible by sealing the list of permit holders from public view, making it impossible to refute claims that all permit holders are law-abiding. However, we do have some idea what such a comparison might reveal. In 2007, an analysis by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found more than 1,400 Floridians holding concealed weapon licenses in the first half of 2006 who had previously pleaded guilty or no contest to assaults, burglaries, sexual battery, drug possession, child molestation and murder. Alarmed by that data, Florida legislators quickly made such information off limits to public view. Unlike most states, Georgia doesn't require firearms training to obtain a concealed-carry permit, which is issued by the local probate court judge after applicants undergo criminal background checks. The license is valid for five years; however, it's supposed to be revoked if the carrier is convicted of a felony. Under state law, however, there's no way to enforce that provision. When police arrest someone for an offense that makes them ineligible to carry a concealed firearm, officers don't have to alert the county that issued the permit. That's because Georgia has no central database where an officer can check easily on whether a permit exists, says Bankhead. "All the records are kept within each of the 159 probate courts, " he says. "There is no way to check whether the permit is valid. Police would have to call the court in the county where the permit was issued to find out if it was valid, and that would only be possible during business hours." As Clarke County probate judge for 12 years, Susan Tate can't recall ever receiving a call from a law enforcement agency in another Georgia county alerting her that an Athens-area permit holder was arrested elsewhere in the state. Tate, who's chair of the Council of Probate Court Judges' firearms license committee and the mental health committee, says that's a serious hole in the state's safety net. Coweta Probate Judge Mary Cranford also says she has never received a call from outside the county about a concealed-carry permit she issued. "You are issued a permit for five years, and we don't know what you have done in those five years until you come back to renew, " she says. DeKalb Associate Probate Judge Arnold Ragas recalled only a single incident of getting such a call. Fulton County called to raise concerns about the concealed-carry permit of a woman convicted of shooting and seriously wounding Fulton County Judge Cynthia Wright in 2003. "But it turns out the woman's permit was set to expire anyway, " Ragas says. Judges are also concerned that background checks may not catch applicants with mental health problems treated in private mental hospitals or those deemed to be not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial. Nor do checks always identify people who have been determined in guardianship hearings to be unable to handle their own affairs. While different information databases may contain bits of information, they don't necessarily connect to provide a full picture, says state Department of Human Resources official Karen Bailey-Smith. "When you are getting mental health background checks, are you getting everything?" she asks. "The answer is probably not. We need to look at what is falling through the gaps."

Bob Doty
Bob Doty

I have carried a CCW permit since 1979, first licensed in Dekalb County and later in Gwinnett. My fingerprints and picture are on file with the FBI, I have passed a background check every five years, and statistics prove that CCW holders commit vitually zero violent crime involving a firearm. This is a subject where my knowledge is expert.

Bob Doty
Bob Doty

Fact: As of 2017, there are over 14,500,000 CCW holders, meaning the worst case kill rate (justifiable or not) is 0.003% of all CCW holders.

Annette Laing
Annette Laing

Fact: The proliferation of guns on campus is inherently dangerous. Fact: The presence of lethal weapons has a chilling effect on education. Fact: Most people with PhDs and careers in academia are not eager to move to GA, even without this issue.

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

Does that mean anything? Here is what I found out when I looked at how to get a CCW and who gets one:

Bob Doty
Bob Doty

"The new state law allowing students over 21 to carry concealed weapons in most areas of Georgia’s public campuses..." WRONG. Let me help out here. "The new state law allows students that possess a current CCW permit to carry concealed weapons in most areas of Georgia's public campuses". But, you knew that already, didn't you?