The sweeping gun rights bill signed into law by Georgia's governor stopped short of some desired inclusions by one gun lobbyist, most notably the ability to carry on college campuses in the state.
On Wednesday, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed an expansion of gun-carry rights into law, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches, and some government buildings, permitting hunters to use silencers, and authorizing school staff members to carry weapons.
"This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules — and who can protect themselves and others from those who don't play by the rules," Deal said in a statement.
But Jerry Henry, executive director of GeorgiaCarry.org, an organization that lobbied for Georgia's new gun law, told Ed Berliner, J.D. Hayworth, and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that he believes there is a need for the law to extend carrying rights to college campuses as well.
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"One of the things we'd like to do right now is be able to carry on campus, which we can't do here in the state of Georgia," Henry said. "Georgia Tech is here in Atlanta and that has been rated the last three years by the FBI as the 12th, 11th, and now 10th-most dangerous campus in the United States and we think anybody that's over 21 and attends that college should be allowed to defend themselves in some of those late night incidents."
According to Georgia Tech Police Department statistics, crime in the first quarter of 2014
was up 21.6 percent over the same period last year, including three more rapes, two more burglaries, two more motor-vehicle thefts and 12 more larcenies.
"For every campus in the state of Georgia [crime concern] exists," Henry said. "As a matter of fact I believe — and I'm coming from the top of my head — but there was something like 89 forcible rapes last year on college campuses. There were 180-something violent attacks. That doesn't sound to me like it's all safe like the Board of Regents would like you to believe."
Henry said that although the new law has a broad reach, he does not anticipate it breeding a culture of lawlessness.
"Every time that we've passed a bill, which in the last six years we've passed three good gun bills, we hear the same hue and cry from the emotional output of our anti people," he said.
"Our opponents say that this is going to happen, this is going to happen, and guess what? It never happens. It hasn't happened, and you're not going to see anything except the crime rate go down in the state of Georgia."
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