Concealed carry on Fayette college campuses: No-go on 2, partial on 1

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Shutter stock image of woman taking a handgun from a student bag.

The Campus Carry Bill (House Bill 280) took effect in Georgia on July 1. In Fayette County, firearms are restricted in areas of the Clayton State University campus and are not allowed on the campuses of Georgia Military College and Point University.

At the Georgia Military College campus in Fayetteville, Executive Director Scott “Rock” Donahue said the school’s weapons policy notes that, in accordance with the new law, firearms remain restricted and are not permitted on campus. The restriction includes the otherwise legal possession of a concealed handgun.

Clayton State University Public Relations Specialist Kelly Petty said the areas on the Peachtree City campus where guns are not allowed include faculty and administrative offices and those areas where “Move on When Ready” dual-enrollment classes are held.

Point University at its Peachtree City campus indicated that the law pertains only to public universities and colleges. With Point University being private, Chief of Security Eric Flournoy said the school’s policy prohibits firearms at all its locations, including Peachtree City.

The General Assembly overwhelmingly passed HB 280, which maintains the same restrictions present in last year’s HB 859. It also addresses the areas of campus over which Deal previously raised concerns, along with additional areas of college campuses where weapons would not be permitted, according to Deal’s office.

“It is altogether appropriate that weapons not be allowed in sensitive areas on college campuses, and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration given by the General Assembly in expanding these excluded areas within a college campus in this year’s bill,” said Deal. “While HB 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus. Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory.

“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection, even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.”

HB 280 prohibits the carrying of a concealed weapon by anyone, including weapons carry license holders, on the following areas of public college campuses statewide:

• Buildings or property used for athletic sporting events;

• Student housing, including but not limited to dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses;

• Any preschool or childcare space;

• Any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school;

• Any room or space used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the “Move on When Ready Act”;

• Any faculty, staff, or administrative offices;

• Rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.