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Thursday, January 23, 2014

R.I.P., Georgia campus-carry gun bill

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Dont worry, you can still carry guns in parks!
A controversial effort to pass legislation that would have allowed gun owners to carry weapons on some college campuses is effectively dead for this legislative session.

GOP state lawmakers last year came close to approving a bill that would've expanded gun rights in bars, churches, and across college campuses. That measure ultimately failed. When state lawmakers returned in January, proponents thought they had better chances with the addition of an "opt-in" clause. The provision would've let college and university presidents decide whether they would allow firearms on school grounds.

But the campus-carry effort has fallen apart. State Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, one of the bill's sponsors, today said that the "opt-in" provision would likely be struck down in court. According to a legal opinion, the measure would unlawfully give college presidents the ability to determine what constitutes a criminal offense.

"You cannot legislatively yield away legislative rights to individuals. It's unconstitutional for us to give college presidents the right to decide [campus carry]," Powell told the AJC.

With a revised bill on it way, don't expect the Second Amendment push come to an end just yet. State Rep. John Meadows, R-Calhoun, who serves as House Rules Committee chair, told the Associated Press that a new measure could give local school districts more power to arm educators and restrict gun access for the mentally ill.

Or, who knows, maybe a few more lawmakers will rally around a separate push to nullify federal gun laws in Georgia? Anything is possible under the Gold Dome.

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