Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed not one, but two, pieces of gun legislation on the last day of the 2016 session.
Deal’s veto of Campus Carry came with a lengthy explanation and an executive order creating an annual reporting requirement for colleges about the security measures in place. Deal also encouraged the General Assembly to increase penalties for bringing guns onto campuses.
Condemnation and cheers immediately followed, with many Republicans sending a clear message to the governor that this issue, like religious freedom, will be back next year.
“At a time when our Second Amendment rights are under attack, I believed and still believe that it is very important that we do all that is necessary and proper to strengthen our constitutional protections,” House Speaker David Ralston said. “Georgians should not be required to give up their constitutional rights when they set foot on a college campus.”
The veto statement cites a conservative darling, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as saying, “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” Scalia is quoted to clarify the appropriateness and legality of, “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”
‘Campus Carry’ faced strong opposition from students, parents, professors, police and presidents of Georgia’s universities and technical colleges.
“From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed. To depart from such time-honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists,” Deal says in his veto statement.
Deal also vetoed a second gun bill, HB 1060, that would have allowed guns in places of worship.
If it were to become law, a house of worship would no longer be considered an unauthorized location for weapons, and any license holder could carry a weapon or long gun into a place of worship without penalty unless they refused to leave “upon personal notification by such place of worship that he or she is carrying a weapon or long gun in a place of worship which does not permit the carrying of a weapon or long gun.”
Deal even takes gun owners to task, claiming that “surely, such a respected group of citizens…do not want or need to be tapped on the shoulder in a place [of] worship and reminded that their pistol or long gun is not allowed.”
I’m not sure what it takes to become a “respected group of citizens” in Deal’s book, but certainly many groups of citizens are grateful for this common-sense approach to the Second Amendment in Georgia.