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'Campus Carry' bill riling opponents at UGA | News

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'Campus Carry' bill riling opponents at UGA

ATHENS, Ga. -- Local college students are vowing not to give up until a 'Campus Carry' gun bill is defeated for good.

That's the message from about 100 people who staged a protest against the controversial measure at the University of Georgia, Wednesday night.

The UGA students are upset that the campus carry bill has steamrolled its way under the Gold Dome and they're demanding the governor derail it.

Students and faculty members marched, angry that lawmakers are not listening to them.

"It was very frustrating that professors and students alike were speaking out against campus carry and the legislature continued on with this with very little regard to  anything that we were concerned about," rally organizer Stuart Swinea said.

The belief here and on many campuses is that school is hard enough without knowing that somebody's got a gun.

"The students already are under pressure, they've got their day-to-day issues and it really stifles creativity and the dialogue that happens in the classroom," one attendee said.

Student leaders said opposition to the bill is strong.

"Across the board I feel confident saying that over half the students are opposed to the legislation," one leader said.

But not everyone at the school agrees with the protesters.

"I don't understand it, 56 people were shot on Virginia Tech's campus in 2007," one student said. "And whatever that number would be, I don't think it would be 56 if any student there had the right to protect themselves."

Still many said the campus carry bill is a lesson in hypocrisy.

"They don't allow guns in the Capitol," one opponent to the bill said. "So I don't know why if the legislatures don't want guns in their offices why would you have it in our classrooms."

Some are heartened that Governor Deal wants to see some changes made to the bill, hoping it's a step in the direction of killing it.

The bill passed the senate earlier in March and is now on the governor's desk. But Deal said he has concerns about the bill and wants the general assembly to address those issues.

The bill would allow anyone over the age of 21 and holding a gun permit to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses.

However, guns would not be allowed in student housing or athletic facilities.



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