The Georgia Supreme Court ruled last week upholding the weaker of two campus carry laws signed by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2014.
The high court affirmed an earlier ruling to dismiss a complaint filed by the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org against the state Code Revision Commission.
The issue started when Deal signed HB 862 into law on April 22, which allowed guns to be carried on school property. On April 23 he approved HB 60, Georgia’s famed “guns everywhere” bill that, while vastly expanding areas where guns could be carried, also included language restricting guns to school parking lots.
The Code Revision Commission found the discrepancy and adopted HB 60’s language which only allows licensed gun owners to carry on school property “when such person carries or picks up a student within a school safety zone.”
GeorgiaCarry.org sued in February 2015 to return to HB 862’s language. Both the Governor and the commission asked for a dismissal, which was granted, and GeorgiaCarry.org then took the issue to the Supreme Court.
In a 9 page opinion the court argued that the two bills were in “irreconcilable conflict” and “[t]hese provisions are contradictory in that they address the same circumstances, but one expressly authorizes the carrying of a firearm and the other expressly criminalizes such conduct, albeit with a limited exception.”
GeorgiaCarry.org Executive Director Jerry Henry disagrees with the decision and told Guns.com the conflict between the two laws was reconcilable and state law has similar conflicts already on the books.
“Certainly we are disappointed with the court’s decision and believe it to be an incorrect decision. Unfortunately, the court does get it wrong from time to time,” said Henry. “The court sided with the state and once again, missed an opportunity to restore our Second Amendment rights; forcing law-abiding citizens to be disarmed in high crime pretend gun-free zones.”
Gov. Deal’s gun-friendly legacy may be in jeopardy as he vetoed HB 859 earlier this year, a bill that would have allowed permitted gun owners to carry at public college and universities in Georgia. Deal, however, is in his second term and will not face reelection.
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