The Republican-controlled Georgia House of Representatives voted Friday morning to pass legislation that would permit guns on college campuses, churches and public buildings and allow school administrators to be armed.
The legislation, which now moves to the state Senate for consideration, could make Georgia the sixth state to allow guns on college campuses. Georgia is also the second state this month in which lawmakers have passed legislation to allow guns in public buildings. The bill passed despite the objections of the head of the state's university system and other college presidents around Georgia.
“All of these individuals are opposed to this provision," state Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta) told The Huffington Post. "If you have all of these experts who are opposed, why would the [state legislature] oppose that?”
The bill would allow guns on a concealed carry basis in most parts of a college campus, including classrooms and dining halls. Guns would still be banned in dorms, athletics events and fraternity and sorority houses.
Guns would also be permitted in all public buildings that do not have security guards and metal detectors. They would be allowed in bars and churches as well, though individual bars and churches would have the right to ban guns on the premises.
Another provision in the bill would enable school districts to allow school administrators to carry concealed weapons on them during the day. Parents would not be allowed to know which administrators were armed.
Supporters of the bill argue that it would make public spaces safer. State Rep. Charlie Gregory (R-Kennesaw), a sponsor of the legislation, has said that gun control "has not worked," and he told the Marietta Daily Journal in December that guns in school would prevent tragedies.