(Atlanta, GA) October 9, 2015–The GUNSENSE GEORGIA COALITION joins with the nation in horror and sadness over another campus shooting, this time at Northern Arizona University. The shooter was an 18-year old who pulled a gun as a dispute with others escalated. The incident left one dead and three others injured with multiple gun wounds.
“Although illegal for an 18-year old to carry a gun, if guns are allowed in a campus environment, who is going to be able to monitor the ages of those carrying?,” asked Kathryn Grant, spokesperson for the GunSense Georgia Coalition.
In the Georgia legislature, House Bill 544, introduced in last year’s General Assembly, will allow our Georgia university students, faculty, staff, administrators and campus visitors to carry guns into classrooms, while walking on campus, in sorority and fraternity houses, in dorm rooms and even at tailgate parties. Past attempts to introduce such legislation have been successfully opposed by organizations within the GunSense Georgia Coalition and by the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia.
“Added to the grave danger of allowing guns on Georgia’s campuses is the fact that HB60, the “guns everywhere bill” made law in 2014, prohibits police officers from detaining or asking questions of anyone carrying a gun,” added Grant. “So how would students or faculty sitting in a classroom or walking on campus be able to discern a potential shooter from a law-abiding citizen? And, who is going to check identification to assure that those carrying are over 21? The answer is no one.”
The Georgia legislators who continue to push this agenda have been corrupted by our state’s gun lobby Georgia Carry and the NRA, who would have us believe that guns carried by inadequately trained students, faculty or campus visitors could prevent such tragedies. Yet, time and time again, in poll after poll, the vast majority of Georgia’s citizens, across all party lines and from all areas of the state have rejected this policy “solution.”
Sensible solutions include increased campus security, universal background checks and training requirements to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible or dangerous people. But the gun lobbies have only one solution for the deadly violence plaguing our nation….more guns.