For the Fourth Year in a Row, the Georgia Chapter of Moms Demand Action Will Stand with College Students, Faculty and Parents to Defeat Guns on Campus Bill
Governor Deal Vetoed Legislation Similar to HB 280 in 2016; Polling Shows Guns on Campus Are Overwhelmingly Opposed by Georgians – and the Majority of Voters Don’t Want Legislators Wasting Time on the Issue
ATLANTA – The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the statement below in response to the Subcommittee 2A of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee vote advancing HB 280, which would force Georgia’s public colleges and universities to allow guns on campus, including in classrooms, disciplinary hearings and at most campus events, including places where alcohol is served or consumed. Similar guns on campus bills have failed for the past three years, notably receiving a veto from Governor Nathan Deal in May 2016. Nearly 80 percent of Georgians oppose allowing guns on campus and the governor heard from more than 30,000 Georgians last spring asking him to veto the bill.
STATEMENT FROM LINDSEY FREE-DONOVAN, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE GEORGIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“It’s absurd, although unsurprising, that legislators are continuing to push legislation to force guns onto our college campuses, in spite of opposition from students, faculty, and campus law enforcement. Governor Deal is already on the record against this too. In his veto last year, he stated clearly that guns on campus are not a Second Amendment issue – rather, it is a public safety question about the kind of environment we want for Georgia universities and colleges. Our Governor knows that guns on campus create more public safety risks on college campuses – not fewer. I encourage legislators to read his veto of last year’s legislation and listen to the tens of thousands of Georgians who have spoken out against this dangerous idea.”
Last year, Everytown and the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action were part of a statewide effort to urge Governor Deal to veto guns on campus. On the last day of the legislative session, volunteers with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action helped its allies to deliver more than 20,000 signatures of Georgians opposing the bill. The Moms Demand Action volunteers worked on behalf of the more than 120,000 Everytown supporters in the state and in conjunction with campus leaders to deliver the simple message that the safety of college communities should come before the interests of the gun lobby. During the campaign, Everytown also launched a television ad calling on the Governor to reject this dangerous legislation and placed multiple full-page ads in the Augusta Chronicle during The Masters.
Since the veto in May 2016, further research has been released that proves that guns on campus only add needless risk to college communities. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University showed that gun-carrying by civilians does not improve safety or reduce crime. It also showed that college campuses and the students on them display characteristics that make the presence of guns on campus potentially dangerous.
In 2016, Georgia was one of seventeen states that rejected legislation to force colleges to allow guns on campus. Texas and Idaho are two of the most recent of only nine states to force colleges to allow guns on campus. Just weeks after Idaho’s guns on campus bill went into effect, a professor shot himself in the foot during class. In Texas, renowned professors have announced that they will leave the University of Texas system to take jobs in other states, while many of the educators who have remained in Texas have said that the law is undermining professors’ ability to teach.