The Marietta Daily Journal – Legislators address guns at universities

14
Jan

The Marietta Daily Journal – Legislators address guns at universities

ATLANTA — Cobb lawmakers expect action will be taken this session on whether to allow licensed students 21 and older to carry guns on university campuses.

But hey are mixed in their support of a “campus carry” law.

State Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Austell) is an opponent. He said a bill that didn’t make it last year would have allowed students to carry guns on campus, but not in dormitories.

“So basically, they would be allowed to walk around campus and have to leave them in their car, which I don’t know if I want to see someone put a gun in their car and then someone come by and rob it,” Wilkerson said.

Another part of the bill would have allowed local school boards to designate a particular school employee — a nurse or custodian — for example, to carry a gun in a kindergarten through 12th grade school.

State Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-west Cobb), a former chairman of the Cobb Board of Education, doesn’t believe the K-12 part of the bill will be considered this session, which began Monday.

But he does believe action will be taken on a campus carry law. Tippins said allowing college students to arm themselves could prevent crime.

“If you’re old enough to have a pistol permit, I personally don’t have a problem with it,” Tippins said. “I realize anything can be abused, but we’ve had some campuses where we’ve had a good bit of crime, and I think if people know that students could be armed it may be a deterrent. Some of this street crime we’ve seen with a lot of students going back to the dorms at 10, 11, 12 at night, a lot of them have been robbed. It was quite common down in Atlanta last year.”

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University, says most of the university professors, staff and administrators he’s come across think a campus carry law is a terrible idea.

“There are instances on campus, frequently there are disagreements on campus, there is occasionally parties, alcohol involved in dorms at least, properties near campus, it just seems like a combustible mix and not well advised,” Swint said.

Swint is also convinced the Legislature will decide on this issue this session.

“In Georgia, gun ownership is a big deal, and that’s a potent political issue, and so gun rights groups have a lot of influence, that’s pretty clear,” Swint said. “It’s just that the Legislature has to be satisfied putting guns on college campuses, is that going to be a horrible idea, and in my opinion at least that has the potential to be a horrible idea.”

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Legislators address guns at universities.

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