On Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that will permit guns on college campuses in Georgia. Deal is the 11th governor to sign such a bill.
The 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech in southwestern Virginia that claimed the lives of 32 people, prompted Deal and 10 other governors to take this action.
Deal said he believed licensed gun owners should aid in keeping college campuses safe. He went on to say that college students on students are vulnerable to assailants, especially those armed with a gun.
“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full that their victims are not permitted to carry protection,” said Deal.
The Georgia House of Representatives and Senate, both of which are Republican-controlled passed the guns-on-campus legislation on March 31. The bill was sent to Deal, who is also a Republican, so there was no doubt that it would be signed into law.
Under the new law, firearms will be prohibited from several campus areas that tend to draw large crowds, including basketball arenas and football stadiums.
Campus housing – sorority and fraternity houses – and administrative and staff offices, will remain off limits to guns, along with rooms where disciplinary hearings are held; rooms where high school students are taking classes; and on-campus childcare and preschool areas.
According to a survey by the American Journal of Public Health, 23 percent of Americans were in support of firearms on college campuses.