BREAKING: GA Governor Unexpectedly Signs “Surprise Campus Carry” Bill Into Law
HB 826 in Georgia is a bill meant to clear up some zero tolerance policies in schools. You know those situations that resulted in some students who made honest mistakes with pocket knives, or a hunting rifle mistakenly being left in cars ruining a child’s education career.
However, due to some interesting language contained within the bill, it looks like the Georgia legislature just made school and campus carry legal in Georgia.
DISCLAIMER: I would personally not advise anyone to test this law as I’m sure it will be challenged in court in the near future. The law also doesn’t go into effect until July 1st. Also, even if this does hold up in court, if you’re a student, you could possibly still be expelled/suspended for violating school weapons policy. It should also be noted that the language from this bill and Georgia’s other gun bill, HB 60, will have to be merged to create the new code section. We can also expect the Georgia Board of Regents to fight this any way they possibly can. Also, I am not a lawyer, so don’t take my interpretation of this bill as legal advice.
Here is a link to the bill and here are the relevant code sections that seem to make it legal for carry permit holders to carry on both K-12 and post secondary education campuses.
Note: Code Section 16-11-129 mentioned in the new code below is the code section dealing weapons carry permits.
(7) ‘School’ means a public or private educational program or institution instructing children at any level, pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
(8 ) ‘School safety zone’ means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to any school or postsecondary institution.
(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry to or to possess or have under such person’s control while within a school safety zone or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school any firearm or explosive compound, other than fireworks.
(c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to:
(6) A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she is within a school safety zone or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any firearm legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone;
The bill passed the State House unanimously, and passed the senate with a nearly unanimous vote, so it’s likely at least some legislators didn’t catch the carry exemption language. Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill into law yesterday.