The Campus Carry Law gave students the right to carry a concealed weapon on campus, if licensed, if they are twenty-one and older. Data collected by the Georgia State Police Department (GSUP) states that no crime involving firearms has been committed, since Campus Carry was put into effect on July 31.
“No students have been arrested since the pass of the law. We made one arrest on September 26, 2017 in front of University Commons. The guy did not attend Georgia State, he was a straggler who carried his gun unlicensed,” GSUPD Chief Spillane said. “Being that he was unlicensed on a school campus, it was an automatic arrest.”
The incidences that the GSUPD addresses are mostly from non-Georgia state affiliates versus the actual students.
“Georgia State is in the middle of downtown so we guard anything 500 yards from any Georgia State property. We get a lot of arrest out of Woodruff Park and Hurt Park. We also assist by the Underground and parts of Auburn Ave.” Spillane said.
GSUPD did studies with other schools that have campus carry and students felt more protected with the Campus Carry being intact. He believes the trend will continue with no crimes associated with Campus Carry.
“I don’t think that we will have any issues with Campus Carry. We did a study with other universities that have it, and nothing bad has came of it,” Spillane said.
However, according to USA Today, campus carry does not increase the likelihood that students will protect themselves in a campus shooting. From 2000 to 2013 160 campus shooting were recorded and only 21 were stopped by civilians with guns.
Thought Campus Carry has not had any issues on campus, Georgia State student Ajaysa Baker still feels unsafe with in place, because you can never account for the intentions of each student.
“It is unsafe and ridiculous. There are too many petty gun crimes. With this Campus Carry Law in effect, you will never know what people’s intentions are,” Baker said. “This law is useless and gives people a reason to have a gun.”
Georgia State student Takia Carter shared the same belief that the thoughts and intentions of others can never be anticipated.
“I feel like Campus Carry would potentially put us all in a dangerous situation. You never know what others are thinking and what they are capable of,” Carter said.
Carter is worried that student that drink heavily or have depression, will now have access to guns and could potentially harm themselves and others.
“College is full of students that like to get drunk and full of students that are depressed. Drunk and depressed students with guns don’t mix,” Carter said. If there was a school shooter, I would rather have a professional law enforcement handle the situation than someone who’s only experience shooting has been in a shooting range,” Carter said.
Although the law only allows student who are licensed and over the age of twenty-one to carry a gun, Baker said that having Campus Carry law could give undereage students a reason to play with guns.
“Guns can be used for protection but there can be younger students who feel they can have guns and play around, simply because of this law,” Baker said.
Baker said Campus Carry would continue to be safe on campus if followed correctly, but it could also create a general sense of fear for people on campus.
“Having Camps Carry is good for protection at night if someone is walking alone, but it should only be used for protection. People will not feel safe on campus, because they know there are guns everywhere,” Baker said.
Students and professors were worried that guns could be found on all parts of campus, but the law has strict guidelines on what places are not acceptable to have firearms.
“Guns are not permitted in the stadium, the two daycare centers Georgia State has. If their is a class that holds a dual enrollment high school student, a gun is not allowed in that classroom. Any area where kids are permitted, guns are not,” Spillane said.
When licensed holders enter classes at Georgia State they are in charge of making sure there are not high schoolers in their class. If so, they are not permitted to have the gun in their presence.