Gov. Nathan Deal vetoes 'campus carry' bill - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoes 'campus carry' bill

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal from an April 27 legislative signing. (Source: Governor Nathan Deal/Twitter) Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal from an April 27 legislative signing. (Source: Governor Nathan Deal/Twitter)

ATLANTA (WTVM) - Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed the controversial House Bill 859, also known as the 'campus carry' bill, a source told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

House Bill 859 was introduced on the house floor of the Georgia Legislature on Jan. 27. In it, it would have allowed licensed gun owners to be permitted to carry weapons on public university and college campuses.

In a statement about the bill's veto, the governor writes that HB 859 speaks of "sensitive areas" that "deserved to continue to be shielded from weapons as they are and have been for generations in our state." 

While there have been alarming incidents of criminal conduct on college campuses in which students have been victimized during the past two years, do those acts justify such a radical departure from the classification of colleges as 'sensitive areas' where weapons are not allowed?

The presumed justification is the need for students to provide their own self protection against such criminal conduct. However, since students who are under 21 years of age would be ineligible to avail themselves of such protection under the terms of HB 859, it is safe to assume that a significant portion of the student body would be unarmed.

The rest of the veto statement says that Governor Deal has asked both the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia and the Chancellor of the University Systems of Georgia to issue reports on the security measures for each college under their leadership. The reports are due by Aug. 1. 

From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed.

To depart from such time honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists.

Therefore, I VETO HB 859.

The governor's office has released a statement on all of the bills that were vetoed, and they can be read here

The source told the newspaper that Deal will veto based on legislators not accepting the governor's "personal requests for changes" to the gun rights expansion. The AJC also reports the legislature's refusal the amend the bill per the governor's request was because of his veto of the controversial "religious freedoms" bill in early April. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if HB 859 been signed by Governor Deal, Georgia would have become the ninth state to allow campus carry. The governor of Tennessee signed similar legislation into law on Tuesday. 

You can view a list of everything Gov. Deal has signed by clicking here

Tuesday is the last day of the bill review period.

You can see the legislation here: 

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