(Croton Falls, NY) –  Gun lobby-backed legislators in the state houses of Alabama and Georgia have introduced legislation that will force the state’s public colleges and universities to allow concealed carry of firearms by license holders on many parts of campus.

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus issued the following statement in response to the introduction of campus carry bills this week in Alabama and Georgia:

“Despite strong and vocal opposition from higher education officials and faculty members in Alabama and Georgia, gun lobby-backed legislators in both states have introduced bills that will compromise the safety of students, faculty, administrators, staff and visitors on college campuses in these states.  In Alabama, HB 12 is very similar to legislation that was signed in Texas last year.  For example, private institutions may opt out, and administrators at public institutions may adopt reasonable rules that do not amount to a general prohibition on concealed weapons subject to a Board of Regents two-thirds vote to amend.  However, the main difference with the Alabama bill is that HB 12 is a proposed constitutional amendment subject to a three-fifths approval by the legislature and vote by Alabamans during the next general election.

Georgia HB 859, sponsored by the Rep. Rick Jasperse and Rep. Mandi Ballinger, would allow concealed weapons license holders to carry a concealed gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, including classrooms, libraries, research facilities, student health centers and gyms. Dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and athletic events are exempt.

HB 859 and similar legislation (HB 544) is yet another attempt to follow through on expanding HB 60, the “Guns Everywhere Bill” that Gov. Deal signed, but failed to include campus carry.  We take issue with Rep. Jasperse’s (R-GA) statement that “we are restoring rights to Georgians.” In fact, longstanding tradition in both the U.S. and in Georgia, stretching back to their origins, has seen guns barred on campuses. And, no court has ever ruled that the U.S. or Georgia Constitution extends to guns in a sensitive place like schools.

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus views campus carry legislation as a deliberate act to remove local control from higher education officials who we believe are in the best position to determine what appropriate measures must be taken to preserve the safety, security, and academic environment of their schools.  In addition, we firmly believe that the presence of concealed firearms will only increase the public safety risk to campus communities and are inappropriate in an educational setting. We will vigorously oppose efforts by gun lobby-backed lawmakers in Alabama and Georgia (and other states) to force concealed weapons on college and university campuses.

To date this year, eight states allow campus carry, and nearly two dozen others allow individual schools to decide their weapons’ policies and every public college and university in those states has strict rules forbidding concealed weapons on campus.”

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The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push loaded, concealed guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 420 colleges and universities in 42 states have joined the Campaign. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.


Andy Pelosi, Executive Director,  [email protected]  (914-629-6726)
Kathryn Grant, Southeast Region Director, [email protected]