Lucy Stone, News Editor
March 30 marked Day 40 of the GA State Legislative session, the end of the regular 2017 session. Several bills were passed by the Senate and House early Friday morning and now wait on the desk of Georgia’s Governor, Nathan Deal. Deal has 40 days to either veto or sign the bills into law.
The most controversial bill on Deal’s desk is House Bill 280, a “campus carry” gun bill which would allow any person over 21 with a legal concealed carry permit to carry a handgun on college campuses. Areas of exclusion would be athletic events, sorority and fraternity houses, dormitories, administrative or disciplinary offices, classrooms with high school students and child daycare facilities.
Vetoed by Deal in 2016, the campus carry bill may be passed this year despite it being proposed for the fifth year in a row. According to the AJC, Deal is more “receptive” to the bill’s updated language.
If passed, GA will become the tenth state to allow concealed guns on campus and in most classrooms.
University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley’s testimony before the Public House Safety Committee on Feb. 20 sent a message about where USG colleges stand on the gun bill:
“With respect to campus carry, we feel strongly that current law strikes the right balance to create a safe environment on our campuses.”
The current law in GA allows licensed gun owners to keep a gun in a locked car in the parking lot of the college.
“This position is supported by our presidents and campus public safety departments, who are closest to the day-to-day realities and operations of the state’s public colleges and universities. We therefore respectfully oppose any change to current law,” Wrigley said.
In local legislative news, the Tybee City Council meeting on March 30 has banned alcohol and “amplified music” from its beaches the last 2 weekends of April to prevent Orange Crush’s large crowds.
The Council Meeting cited an unpermitted eventbrite event posting for Orange Crush as well as orangecrush2k17.com’s advertisement that “We have tens of thousands of brands, labels, artist[s], host[s], dancers, models and professionals from all over the country coming down to network and brand.”