Gun law changes little on campus

After the signing of State Bill 308 by Governor Sonny Perdue, Director of Public Safety Division William McBride wants people to know one important piece of information: “You still can’t carry weapons on campus, with or without a permit.”

McBride has followed the progress of the new law, nicknamed the Common Sense Lawful Carry Act, since its introduction in January. After months of revisions and committee work, Gov. Perdue signed it June 4 and it became effective immediately.

The new bill allows those with a concealed weapons permit to leave their weapons in their vehicles on campus. It also eliminates the 1,000-foot buffer zone that surrounded the campus and buildings considered MCG property. The bill does not allow concealed weapons permit holders to remove weapons from their vehicles. It also does not allow individuals without a concealed weapons permit to possess firearms under any circumstances while on campus, on campus transportation, or at MCG-sponsored functions, including athletic competitions, dances, parties and extracurricular activities.

Despite the relaxation of concealed carry restrictions, McBride cautions permit-carriers to think critically before bringing their weapons to work.

“Having people store weapons in cars is going to be problematic, because cars get broken into,” he said. Automobiles – and their contents – can also be stolen. In fact, the MCG Police Bureau’s crime statistics from 2005-2008 show auto theft is the most common crime on campus properties: 11 thefts in 2008, seven each in 2007 and 2006, and 18 in 2005.

“The more thugs out there who have weapons, the less comfortable I am,” McBride said.

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