For the Fourth Year in a Row, the Georgia Chapter of Moms Demand Action Will Stand with College Students, Faculty and Parents to Defeat Guns on Campus Bill
Governor Deal Vetoed Similar Legislation in 2016 that Polling Shows is Overwhelmingly Opposed by Georgians – and that the Majority of Voters Don’t Want Legislators Wasting Time on the Issue
ATLANTA – The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the statement below in response to the introduction of a bill that would force Georgia’s public colleges and universities to allow guns on campus, including in classrooms, disciplinary hearings, and at most campus events, including places where alcohol is served or consumed. Similar legislation has failed to become law for the past three years, notably receiving a veto from Governor Deal in May 2016. Nearly 80 percent of Georgians oppose allowing guns on campus and the governor heard from more than 30,000 Georgians last spring asking him to veto.
STATEMENT FROM LINDSEY DONOVAN, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE GEORGIA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Last year I was proud to support Governor Deal as he vetoed legislation that would make Georgia campuses less safe. I hope that our legislators will agree with Governor Deal and countless Georgia families who know that guns on campus is not a Second Amendment issue. This is about the safety of our college campuses and ensuring that students in classrooms can focus on their studies – without having to worry that the student next to them will open fire. Georgia legislators must again choose to either support the gun lobby’s priority bill, a dangerous piece of legislation that would force college campuses to allow guns against the will of college students and faculty, or they can side with most Georgians who know that guns on campus is a risky and bad idea. Georgia Moms Demand Action volunteers like myself are committed to being here every step of the way this legislative session to make sure college campuses stay safe. We’ve won before and we won’t let the gun lobby stop us now.”
Last year, Everytown and the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action were part of a statewide effort to urge the Governor to veto guns on campus. On the last day of the legislative session, volunteers with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action helped to deliver more than 20,000 signatures of Georgians opposing the bill. The Moms Demand Action volunteers worked on behalf of the more than 120,000 Everytown supporters in the state and in conjunction with campus leaders to deliver the simple message that the safety of college communities should come before the interests of the gun lobby. During the campaign, Everytown also launched a television ad calling on the Governor to reject this dangerous legislation and placed multiple full-page ads in the Augusta Chronicle during The Masters.
Since the veto in May 2016, further research has been released that proves that guns on campus only adds needless risk to college communities. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University showed that gun-carrying by civilians does not improve safety or reduce crime, while simultaneously showing that college campuses and students on them display characteristics that make the presence of guns on campus potentially dangerous.
In 2016, Georgia was one of seventeen states that rejected legislation to force colleges to allow guns on campus. Texas, Tennessee, and Idaho are the most recent of only nine states to force colleges to allow guns on campus. Just weeks after Idaho’s guns on campus bill went into effect, a professor shot himself in the foot during class. In Texas, renowned professors have announced that they will leave the UT system to take jobs in other states, while many of the educators who have remained in Texas have said that the law is undermining professors’ ability to teach.