Advocates for allowing guns on Georgia college campuses hope new action at the state Capitol will improve their chances. The advance of so-called "campus carry" legislation comes as lawmakers move into the final days of this year's session.
Three Kennesaw State University students pressed their case at the Capitol for allowing guns on many parts of college campuses. They are members of KSU's chapter of Students for Concealed Carry.
"Disallowing us to have guns is not going to keep the criminals from having guns. All gun control is doing is disarming the victims and not the criminals," Luke Crawford said.
With the General Assembly session scheduled to end next week, the potential expansion of gun rights remains a top issue.
As a result of legislative changes, so-called "campus carry" provisions are now part of the state Senate bill which could soon get a vote by the Georgia House.
"We're really afraid that unless the Senate stands up and refuses to allow the House's changes, that we're going to see this legislation wind up on the governor's desk," said Alice Johnson of Georgians of Gun Safety.
The House earlier approved an extensive gun bill that included a campus carry measure. On Tuesday, the House Public Safety Committee added those provisions to Senate gun legislation.
I would say that a student on the Georgia Tech campus, especially a lot of those that's been mugged and robbed, I would say that they have just as much a right to protect themselves as you or I," said Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell).
The campus carry measure would apply to licensed gun owners who are at least age 21, and would continue gun bans for campus athletic events, dorms, fraternity and sorority houses.
State university system officials have strongly objected to campus carry legislation.