Today Governor Deal, with his veto of HB 859, the “campus carry” bill, has defied the will of the overwhelming majority of the Georgia Legislature. He has also denied a basic constitutional right to law-abiding citizens, 21 years old and older, to protect themselves against violent crime in their chosen daily lives. Perhaps most regrettably, his veto insults and demeans the adults on Georgia’s campuses – ‘I don’t trust you’ he is saying. This veto does not even apply to the stereotypical freshman ‘frat’ boy who has been caricatured in this debate, but is too young to receive a Georgia Weapons License. It does apply to the single mom working on her nursing certificate in night classes. It does apply to the thirty year old graduate students and researchers working in the laboratories of Georgia Tech until the wee hours of the night and then commuting back to their two young children. Yes, Governor Deal has demeaned and insulted these people and many others. Instead, Governor Deal believes that the violent crime on our college campuses will be addressed by ordering the Chancellor to send him a report by August 1, 2016. Those who would murder, assault, rape, and rob Georgia’s students are not going to be deterred by a report, by the occasional additional police presence, nor by a sign declaring a “gun free” zone.
Needless to say, GeorgiaCarry.Org has worked tirelessly for years on this legislation and we are obviously disappointed. We will, however, not give up. There will be an opportunity to override this veto in next year’s session. There is an election this year in which the voters of Georgia can speak their mind with their votes. There will be an opportunity in two years to elect a Governor who actually believes in the 2nd Amendment freedoms, and will put those beliefs into actions and not just words. We will be back next year and every year thereafter – as long as it takes, to secure for law-abiding Georgians who happen to want an education, the rights enshrined in our Constitution.