By Emma Nortje
Georgia’s campus carry law was passed in the senate last Friday and now moves to Gov. Nathan Deal to be signed into law. It states that any student 21 years of age or older with a weapons license will be able to carry their weapon concealed on any public college or university campus, excluding dorms, Greek housing, and athletic events.
There was a push for the law to be passed after Georgia State library had experienced an increase in campus robberies. Now if Deal signs off on the law, Georgia will become the ninth state to allow guns on public campuses.
Some students are in favor of the bill, agreeing that it could increase safety on campuses.
“I think the effect of the act will be that if something like that [a campus shooting] ever happens, God forbid it does, there will be students that will be able to protect themselves and hopefully stop what’s happening before more lives are taken,” Dakota Wellmaker, junior creative writing major, said.
Others feel that the presence of more guns on campus would only increase paranoia, causing students to worry more about their safety and become distracted from school.
“While being in college, you shouldn’t have to think about protecting yourself,” Christopher Johnson, sophomore mass communications and psychology major, said. “You should be thinking about academics and furthering your career.”
One proposed alternative to putting the campus carry law in place for the whole state would be to have each school decide for themselves if they want students to be able to carry or not. Almost two dozen states utilize this alternative instead of requiring it of all public campuses.
“I don’t believe that guns create more safety, I believe they create more fear,” Grace Nichols, LGBTQ Program Coordinator, said. “I think it [the carry law] comes from a place of fear, and maybe we shouldn’t be functioning from that anymore.”