Students attending Albany State University (ASU) in Georgia are returning to campus for the first time since the state legalized campus carry earlier this year.
On May 4th, Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 280 into law, allowing weapons permit holders to conceal carry their firearms in certain areas on public college and university campuses in Georgia. The law went into effect two months later, on July 1st.
Now that classes are starting back up, Police Chief John Fields is ensuring every student, faculty and staff member knows exactly what the new law is.
“We’re trying to educate our faculty, staff and students and visitors and actually the community on what they can do and what they can’t do,” Fields tells WFXL Fox31.
Under the law, firearms are not allowed in resident halls – including dormitories, sorority and fraternity houses – childcare spaces, anyplace a sporting event is being held, faculty, staff or administrative offices, and classes in which a high school student is enrolled.
The campus is holding an informational session on the new law next week. New students were also given a rundown in their Freshman orientation.
However, Fields notes that it is truly the gun owner’s responsibility to know the rules, including where they can and cannot carry. This includes contacting the registrar to find out if there are any high schoolers enrolled in their classes.
Fields added that those who intend to carry must also know when it is appropriate to use their firearm.
“If you’re using a weapon, it always has to be in fear of your life or saving the life of another, so if you’re not, you’ve got to think about—you’ve got to be within the law,” he tells WFXL Fox31.
As expected, there are mixed feelings on campus about the new law.