Georgia Governor Nathan Deal betrayed his Republican allies in the legislature today, vetoing campus carry legislation which would have allows faculty, staff, and students over the age of 21 to carry concealed handguns on public university campuses.
Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed legislation Tuesday that would allow college students to carry concealed guns onto campuses after lawmakers defied his personal request for changes that would make exceptions to the gun rights expansion.
The decision to reject House Bill 859, which would legalize firearms at all public colleges in Georgia, comes almost a month after the governor infuriated many religious conservatives by vetoing “religious liberty” legislation that would have extended legal protections to opponents of same-sex marriages.
The gun measure, known as the “campus carry” bill, was long sought by conservatives and Second Amendment activists who cast it as a crucial safety measure for students, faculty and administrators to protect themselves. Until this year, their efforts were stymied by critics including college presidents, who warn that expanding gun rights to campuses would increase the likelihood of violent shootings.
Deal’s betrayal of his conservative allies means that faculty, staff, and students at Georgia public colleges and universities will not be able to protect themselves in the event of a school shooting.
More than 90-percent of mass shootings occur in so-called “gun free zones” such as Georgia’s college campuses.
Should a mass attack now occur in Georgia, voters will have every reason to wonder how many lives might have been saved if Deal allowed faculty, staff and students to exercise their natural right to armed self-defense.