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Everytown, Georgia Moms, Gun Violence Survivors and Educators Deliver More Than 20,000 Signatures Opposing Guns on Campus Bill, Urge Governor Deal to Veto

HB 859 Ignores 78 Percent of Georgians Who Oppose Allowing Guns onto College Campuses

ATLANTA – Today, volunteers with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, joined with gun violence survivors and educators at the Georgia Capitol to deliver more than 20,000 signatures opposing HB 859. Together, they’re urging Governor Deal to veto the legislation, which would force Georgia colleges to allow guns on campus. Guns on campus legislation is opposed by students, university presidents, and 78 percent of Georgians, and recently Governor Deal himself has announced concerns with the legislation.

The more than 20,000 signatures of Georgians who oppose the bill were gathered by Everytown for Gun Safety, the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, GunSense Georgia, Moveon.org, CREDO, and Georgia students.

“We’re all standing up and urging Governor Deal to veto this terrible legislation that would force guns on campus,” said Carol Allen, Volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I’m speaking out not just as a Georgian, but as a mother of college aged kids. When I send my children off to school I need to know that they’re entering a safe environment—adding guns into the mix along with drug and alcohol abuse and academic pressure is misguided and dangerous.”

“I’m speaking for the next young person who could find himself or herself in danger of being shot because I know what it’s like to lose a child to gun violence,” said Stephanie Stone an Atlanta member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose son Paul Sampleton was shot and killed in Gwinnett County in 2012. “Forcing our colleges to allow guns on campus is the wrong move and Governor Deal should veto this reckless legislation.”

“The message to Governor Deal from Georgians all across the state is simple: keep guns off campus,” said Kathryn Grant, Southeast Region Director, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. “Governor Deal should listen to the students, educators, faith leaders, college presidents, campus police chiefs and 78 percent of Georgians who don’t want guns allowed on campus because it’s basic common sense.”

“Georgia should be passing laws to make campuses safe, not promoting reckless laws that put students, administrators, and teachers at risk,” said CREDO Senior Campaign Manager Heidi Hess. “Governor Deal needs to stand up to the NRA, do what’s right for Georgia students, and veto HB 859.”

Earlier this legislative session, Everytown and the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action released a television ad opposing HB 859. And last month, Georgia Moms gathered at the Capitol to drop off thousands of signatures to lawmakers urging them to reject the legislation.