Deal, Olens Weigh In on Campus Carry

May 29, 2014

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

After receiving a number of questions about whether licensed permit holders can carry guns on school campuses, Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens weighed in today.

At issue are HB 60 and HB 826. Governor Deal signed both bills into law this year. HB 60 expands the list of places permitted gun holders can carry firearms in Georgia. HB 826 leaves the decision about how to handle students who carry certain knives on school property up to local school boards. That law also outlaws the carry of firearms in school safety zones with certain exceptions. One of those exceptions allows people with weapons carry licenses to carry in school safety zones. Meanwhile, HB 60 explicitly outlaws most carrying of firearms within those zones.

In a statement today, Governor Deal said the bills contained “many overlapping provisions.” After talking with his lawyer and legislative counsel, Deal effectively said HB 60 trumps HB 826.

Here’s the Governor’s statement in full:

“During the bill signing period, I was presented with two pieces of legislation regarding the Second Amendment rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License. While in the review process, it came to my attention that the two bills contained many overlapping provisions. I sought the opinions of the legislative counsel and my executive counsel regarding the possible legal conflict. I signed HB 60 after HB 826 to ensure the major substantive provisions in HB 60 became law. In doing so, any contradicting language was conflicted out in favor of the last bill signed.”

Here’s Attorney General Olens’ answer to question of whether a person with a weapons carry license can carry a weapon on a college campus:

Attorney General Sam Olens' answer to the question about whether a person with a weapons carry license carry a weapon on a college campus (fax image).
Credit Georgia Department of Law

WABE has posted the complete document from the Attorney General about the weapons law amendments taking effect on July 1, 2014.