Revisiting the ‘Campus Carry’ law one year later

Bisola Oke

The Georgia House Bill 280, commonly referred to as the “campus carry” legislation, was implemented on all University System of Georgia campuses on July 1, 2017.

The law allows anyone 21 and up with a gun license to carry concealed weapons on campus with the exception of child care facilities, faculty and administrative office space and disciplinary meetings.

According to the bill, non-licensed gun owners are not allowed to carry at all and licensed gun owners should conceal their guns at all times.

Permit holders must pass a background check and criminal history record in order to carry.

Student and faculty opinions

In a recent Twitter poll, 49 percent of Georgia Southern University students said they were against the law, 45 percent were for it and 6 percent were unfamiliar with it.

Maria Olivas, junior public health major, is opposed to this idea due to the rate of gun violence in the United States.

“Especially in this country, there’s so much gun violence compared to other countries,” Olivas said. “Having a law that says it’s okay to bring concealed guns to the university is not helping the situation that we’re in right now.”

Olivas suggested that the school should be doing more to promote this conversation by providing a platform where the students and faculty can still discuss the law.

Craig Roell, a professor in the history department, also opposes the idea.

“I think it’s plain crazy. I think the state legislature was nuts for doing this,” Roell said. “This is a school, not a shooting range. It’s scary and insane.”

Roell believes the legislation is impartial to the bill since carriers cannot bring concealed guns into the capital building but can do so on campuses.

“They’re the goofballs that passed the law, so they made it okay on campuses but they don’t allow it where they make the legislation,” Roell said.

Austin McKinney, a sophomore chemistry major, has mixed feelings on the bill.

“I believe that the police officers that are guarding, teachers and professors should be able to carry but individual students should not,” McKinney said.

Annie Elton, freshman exercise science major, said she supports the bill because it gives students a chance to protect themselves.

“You never know who’s going to show up on or near campus, for example, that man who kidnapped those girls last week,” Elton said. “As long as you know how to use [guns] and you’re using them for the right reasons, I think you’re good.”

For more information on the bill, click here.

Bisola Oke, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]