ATLANTA— The Georgia House of Representatives today passed House Bill 859, sponsored by State Representative Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) and co-sponsored by Representative Mandi Ballinger (R-Ballinger). This legislation, commonly referred to as the “Campus Safety Act,” protects and expands the 2ndAmendment rights of firearms license holders on Georgia’s college campuses.
“House Bill 859 is simply providing responsible Georgians, who have gone through the licensure process to obtain a weapons carry permit, the ability to carry their weapon in certain places on their college campuses,” said Rep. Jasperse. “This is a constitutional right and a very important safety measure for all of our citizens. By enacting this legislation, I believe, like statistics have shown, that we will see a reduction in the number of violent crimes on our campuses. The right to bear arms is one of our most important and sacred rights as U.S. citizens and those rights shouldn’t end when a student steps onto a college campus.”
House Bill 859 would allow for the concealed carry of handguns by firearms license holders in Georgia while in or on certain buildings or real property owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of postsecondary education. HB 859 would not apply to buildings or property used for athletic events or student housing including sorority and fraternity houses.
“We have heard entirely too many stories recently of Georgia’s students being robbed and held at gunpoint with no way of defending themselves because of the existing laws on our college campuses,” said Rep. Ballinger. “By creating gun-free zones, we are only making it easier for criminals to commit crimes and making our students more vulnerable to violent attacks. This legislation is common sense, and necessary for the protection and safety of our students.”
HB 859 will now go to the Senate for consideration.
For more information on HB 859, please click here.
Representative Rick Jasperse represents the citizens of District 11, which includes portions of Gordon, Murray, and Pickens counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Special Rules Committee.. He also serves on the Appropriations, Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Public Safety & Home Land Security, Health & Human Services and Human Relations & Aging committees.
Representative Mandi L. Ballinger represents the citizens of District 23, which includes portions of Cherokee County. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee and the Secretary of the Budget & Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee. She also serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Information & Audits, Judiciary Non-Civil, Rules, and Transportation committees.