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Georgia Gun Laws Could Get Overhauled

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By Kamika Dunlap on February 04, 2010 11:50 AM

Georgia lawmakers could overhaul current Georgia gun laws and allow weapons just about anywhere -- even handguns on college campuses.

The proposed broad legislation would lift a ban on firearms in most public buildings, churches and even the state Capitol. It would allow gun owners with permits to carry in college campuses. The places where Georgia gun laws would ban firearms would mainly be limited to jails, courthouses and prisons.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, school officials and student leaders bristle at the proposal, House Bill 615. They worry that allowing guns onto college campuses could pose risks and lead to violence on their campuses.

Supporters argue that allowing some gun owners to carry weapons on campus could help avert a mass shooting such as the Virginia Tech tragedy. In the past few years, a version of that scene has played out on campuses at Northern Illinois University, and Delaware State University.

Currently, there is an estimated 300,000 Georgians with gun permits to carry their weapons.

As previously discussed, Arizona's new state laws have unearths the debate of guns on campus. A new state law legally permitting concealed guns in bars also allows those licensed to carry concealed weapons the right to keep loaded guns in locked cars at work or state college campuses. The Arizona law, though, does not go so far as to allow the carrying of loaded guns on to campus or into lecture halls. 

Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson adamantly opposes the changes to Georgia gun laws pending in Georgia's General Assembly.

The measures however are aimed at clarifying the state's firearms carry laws which date back to the 1870s, which now extends to bars, sporting events and political rallies.