A judge in Fulton County has denied an injunction to stop the Georgia campus carry law on the grounds of the state’s institutions of higher learning.
Six professors filed the injunction to stop the law, which took effect on July 1, 2017. The professors claimed that the Board of Regents at each school should determine campus carry, and not the state government. The plaintiffs also claimed the law was unconstitutional and dangerous.
Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams denied the injunction in Knox v. Deal on the grounds of “sovereign immunity.”
Judge Adams wrote “because the State has not waived sovereign immunity, and, to the extent Plaintiffs claims could be sustained against Defendants in their individual capacities, official immunity would bar such claims.”
Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr were defendants in the case. According the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the plaintiffs are considering their options, including an appeal.
Georgia Campus Carry Law
On March 4, 2017, Gov. Deal signed Georgia House Bill 280, commonly referred to as Georgia campus carry into law. The law allows anyone with a Weapons Carry License to carry a concealed firearm on public colleges in the state.
However, the law bans campus carry at athletic events, student housing, fraternity and sorority houses, faculty academic offices, offices holding disciplinary proceedings, and in pre-school and childcare facilities.
The year before, Gov. Deal vetoed a similar bill over concerns about carrying firearms into “sensitive areas” like campus preschools, disciplinary hearings, or faculty and administrative offices.
Deal signed the law stating: “As this legislation is more narrowly tailored as to exclude areas on a college campus, I’ve signed HB 280.”
To obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License, people must be 21 years old — 18 with proof of basic training or active service in the military — provide fingerprints and pass the NICS background check.
Georgia became the 10th state to allow campus carry. Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin also allow campus carry.