Penalty for carrying a gun on campus remains criminal

The Safe Carry Protection Act, HB 875, which would have reduced the penalty for carrying a gun on campus, is dead and a newly revised HB 60 has been passed in its place. This bill will continue to penalize the carrying of guns on campus criminally.

As a compromise between the House and the Senate, the House added the wording of HB 875 to HB 60 and removed the allowance of carrying guns on campus from the new HB 60.

HB 60’s provisions include the decriminalizion of possessing concealed weapons in churches, bars, and designated government buildings

Dr. Steve Anthony, lecturer for the Department of Political Science, explained the transformation of HB 875 into HB 60.

“HB 875 was a bill that was introduced in the beginning of the session. It was the vocal point,” Anthony said. “But because of where it was in the process late in the session, they took another bill, House Bill 60, that had the same subject matter and just put the language into that bill.”

Earlier this month, Anthony said he was considering resigning from his job because of the danger he felt by HB 875’s campus carry penalty reduction.

Anthony now says that he is pleased as a teacher by the passing of HB 60.

“As a professor, I am satisfied. As a citizen of Georgia, I am not,” Anthony said. “I think it is still a ridiculous bill. It is ridiculous in the since of where they’ve allowed guns to now be under any form or fashion as they didn’t before.”

Patrick Nix, a freshman visual arts major, said that HB 60 is a good bill, because it will continue to prohibit guns on campus.

“You shouldn’t be able to carry a gun on campus anywhere,” Nix said. “It’s a learning environment. You shouldn’t have to carry a gun with you into a place where people are trying to learn more, because if you are bring a gun usually you are expecting something to happen.”

HB 60 will now go to Governor Nathan Deal’s office where he can sign it into law or veto it.