May 4, 2017

Atlanta, GA – Earlier this evening, Gov. Nathan Deal signed HB 280, the campus carry bill previously passed by the Georgia General Assembly. The legislation forces Georgia’s public colleges and universities to allow Georgian’s with concealed weapons permits, and residents from states that do not require a permit, who could be as young as 18 years-old, to carry virtually anywhere on campus, with only limited exceptions.

Despite last year issuing some of the most extraordinary language about the limits of the Second Amendment and the costs of campus carry, Gov. Deal ultimately ceded to vociferous calls by the National Rifle Association and Georgia Carry.  As of July 1st, Georgia will join ten other states that also force colleges and universities in various forms to allow loaded, concealed guns on campus (Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin).

The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, which worked extensively over the last 7 years to defeat guns on campus legislation, condemned Gov. Deal’s decision.  Kathryn Grant, State Affairs Director of The Campaign stated: Gov. Deal dismissed the urging of Georgia’s faculty, students, parents, the University System and law enforcement to reject this policy, one that will have far reaching negative consequences. With his signing of HB 280 he has abandoned our campus communities and common sense.” 

Andy Pelosi, Executive Director of The Campaign closed by saying: “Gov. Deal’s backpedaling is extraordinary, considering the strength of his 2016 veto statement: ‘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.’  That justification still does not exist, despite the Governor’s statement where he said he was signing ‘because it may have greater significance for students who are going to or from a campus and may have to travel through dangerous territory.’   The Governor cited crime waves taking place without any data and failed to prove that unarmed people are being singled out.  Ultimately, the signing of HB 280 is a gift to the gun lobby and should tarnish Gov. Deal’s legacy.  If the safety of students, staff and administrators were they key issue, then the General Assembly and Governor missed an opportunity to address root causes and solutions.   Today is indeed, a sad day for higher education in Georgia.”

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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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Kathryn Grant, State Affairs Director, [email protected]

Andy Pelosi, Executive Director, [email protected] (914-629-6726)