ATLANTA -- The piece of legislation known as Campus Carry overwhelmingly passed the state House of Representatives Friday.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same thing happened about a year ago and Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the bill. And he could veto this bill, too.
"I have no doubt in my heart and soul that an armed person is safer than one who is not," said Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), a backer of Campus Carry.
The arguments haven’t changed much in a year. "Who are gonna be the victims if they aren’t there and armed to protect themselves?" Powell asked fellow lawmakers during debate Friday.
The arguments to the contrary were also familiar.
"It is not a constitutional right to carry a weapon on a college campus," said Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Atlanta), an opponent of the bill.
The bill would allow on college campuses people 21 and up with concealed carry permits to carry guns -- except in athletic facilities, in student housing and child day care centers.
"College students say they don’t want this. College parents don’t want it," said Rep. Dewey McClain (D-Lawrenceville) in the well of the House. Even those arguing against knew the bill would prevail.
Which it did, though the possibility of another veto by Governor Nathan Deal remains.
"We have made a good faith effort to take into consideration the concerns he had after last session. I am hopeful we have done that," said House Speaker Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), a backer of the bill.
The author of Campus Carry added the exemption for day care centers to accommodate a concern Deal raised last year. It's unclear whether that's sufficient to avoid another veto.
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